Salmonella at Mexico Farm: FDA

Safety official calls finding 'smoking gun'

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 30, 2008 3:07 PM CDT

(Newser) – The salmonella strain linked to a nationwide outbreak has been found in irrigation water and a serrano pepper at a Mexican farm, federal health officials said today. The FDA's food safety chief called the finding a key breakthrough in the case, as did another health official. "We have a smoking gun, it appears," said a CDC director.

The FDA official, Dr. David Acheson, said the farm is in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Previously, the FDA had traced a contaminated jalapeno pepper to a farm in another part of Mexico, the AP reports. Acheson and other officials were grilled at a congressional hearing about why the investigation originally focused on tomatoes. The outbreak has sickened more than 1,300 people since April.

A women sells produce in front of a pile of jalapeno peppers in Mexico City, Friday, July 25, 2008.   (AP Photo)
Jalapeno peppers sit for sale in a market in Mexico City, Friday, July 25, 2008.   (Gregory Bull)
In this June 10, 2008 file photo, showing Canadian Hot House Tomatoes at a produce seller at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo)
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