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Killer hot peppers? Jalapeños join tomatoes as salmonella suspect


Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials are now investigating whether jalapeño peppers (as well as closely related serrano peppers) may be linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak first reported in April. Until now, tomatoes were the prime suspects in the largest U.S. food-borne outbreak in the past decade. More than 1,000 people have been affected in more than 40 states and in Canada. Salmonella poisoning causes diarrhea, vomiting, body aches and fever; it is most dangerous in infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. During a news conference yesterday, officials said they believe that both peppers and tomatoes are culprits and that they are trying to pinpoint the source, such as farms that grew both crops. For updates and a list of foods to avoid, check out the FDA's Web site.



The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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