Friday, July 18, 2008

FDA Focuses on Hot Peppers in Salmonella Investigation, Lifts Tomato Warning

Article in the Wall Street Journal -- Hot Peppers Are Focus Of Salmonella Probe, by Jane Zhang.  Here's an excerpt:

The Food and Drug Administration declared tomatoes safe to eat, saying it is focusing on hot peppers in its hunt for the source of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 1,200 people in the U.S. and Canada.

The agency has sent investigators to look into a Mexico packer of jalapeño and Serrano peppers, though it can't say that facility is the source of the contamination, said David Acheson, the FDA's associate commissioner for foods, in a conference call with reporters Thursday.

The FDA, which originally blamed tomatoes for the outbreak that started April 10, says it is focusing on jalapeño peppers, which it said have caused illnesses, as well as Serrano peppers, which can be confused with jalapeños.


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A number of growers, distributors, restaurants, and retailers have been working on a national tracking system. The current proposal would utilize a global trade item number (GTIN). The distribution chain would be required to use a bar code encoded with the GTIN and the entity who produced it, the production lot it was part of, and the date it was packed or harvested. If the GTIN system, or something like it, were eventually to be adopted, investigators could more quickly determine where a box of fruit or vegetables came from, and thus whether it needs to be isolated or recalled.

This ability to better link up the product may impact product liability litigation: cause in fact is a basic element requiring plaintiffs to show that the product of the defendant caused his or her injury. But industry recognizes that it is in everyone's interest to be able to trace back the source as quickly as possible and thus to take immediate action that will limit the number of people possibly affected. And the inability to quickly trace back may have significant financial impact: the tomato warning, issued for varieties of fresh tomatoes, likely cost the industry millions of dollars, according to trade associations.

Posted by: Sean Wajert | Jul 23, 2008 11:55:57 AM

It's nice to here that many activities are done through FDA.

Food poisoning Symptoms| Food Poisoning Outbreaks|Foodborne Illness|.

Posted by: Davala Vinod | Aug 15, 2008 9:52:35 AM

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