As guacamole and salsa become more popular, they also account for a rising number of cases of food poisoning, new statistics show. The dips once represented 1.5% of foodborne illness outbreaks in restaurants and delis, but between 1998 and 2008, that fraction climbed to nearly 4%. Part of the problem: Salsa and guacamole often sit out at room temperature, and they're prepared in such large quantities that contamination can spread to many people, reports MSNBC.
"Fresh salsa and guacamole, especially those served in retail food establishments, may be important vehicles of foodborne infection," says one researcher. "Awareness that salsa and guacamole can transmit foodborne illness, particularly in restaurants, is key to preventing future outbreaks."