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July 27, 2008

FDA Has A `Break` in Salmonella Case

So more than a month after the salmonella poisoning warning was issued, the FDA has a break. They found a strand of the bacteria on a jalapeno pepper. So after all that time, you probably could have eaten the tomatoes that you were avoiding. After weeks and weeks of people avoiding tomatoes and farmers losing millions of dollars on tomato crops, the tomatoes were probably fine.

The jalapeƱo pepper that had the salmonella on it was imported from Mexico. It was discovered on Monday. So far the bacteria has made 1,200 people sick in 42 states. The numbers keep on creeping up and the identification of where the bacteria is coming from has taken far too long. People have been wondering about the produce they are buying and whether or not the FDA had identified the right villain. Well, now that the Saintpaul strand of salmonella has been found on this jalapeno, the question of whether or not the salmonella is on tomatoes and jalapenos must be asked.

The FDA say that this is a significant break in the case even though it is only one jalapeno. They also stated that the jalapeno may not have been contaminated in Mexico. Although, that seems a little difficult to determine at this point. Since it seems like the contamination was coming from Mexico in the first place, I am confused about why the FDA would make such a statement.

The ban on certain tomatoes has been lifted. However, the FDA is not sure that the tomatoes were not contaminated at any point. It seems to me that the best thing to do is leave the tomatoes banned and ban the jalapenos. Perhaps then the Mexican growers will begin to be more careful about the vegetables they import.

The warnings are less dire but there are still warnings. The FDA says that people that are at high risk should not eat jalapeno peppers. The tomatoes may or may not have been involved in the outbreak but the ban is lifted anyhow. This seems to be an oversight by the FDA. There is obviously something wrong with the imported vegetables from Mexico so I say just ban them.

South Koreans have been protesting beef that comes for the United States. Why would they do that? Because the United States has not been responsible with the beef that is produced here in recent years. The have been several different recalls in the last year on beef made in the United States. That is why I completely understand South Koreans getting so mad that they government would allow any beef from the United States in the country. Once a country has shown that they are irresponsible with the food they produce, a lesson must be taught. Or else there is little reason for the country to fix what is wrong. When it comes to the safety of food, countries must protect their own. If Mexico is exporting contaminated vegetables then ban the food that is suspected of being contaminated.

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