They managed to do it with a little drum roll before a Congressional committee. The smoking hot pepper has been captured across the Rio Grande in Mexico. Here’s a bit of what the Washington Post reported just a short time ago:
Investigators discovered the Salmonella saintpaul strain in irrigation water and serrano peppers on a farm in Mexico, where jalapeno peppers are also grown.
"We have a smoking gun it appears," said Lonnie King, a director at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Food and Drug Administration, which earlier issued a warning about jalapeno peppers, is now warning consumers also to avoid raw serrano peppers grown and packed in Mexico.
Here’s how the dots were connected:
The farm where the contaminated water was found grows only jalapeno and Serrano peppers. It supplied a packing facility in Mexico that also did business with Agricola Zaragosa, the McAllen, Tex., distributor where FDA inspectors found tainted jalapeno peppers last week. The farm and the packing facility are located in Nuevo Leon, a state in northeastern Mexico. A portion of Nuevo Leon borders Texas.
FDA is also awaiting the results of samples collected from a different farm in Tamaulipas, Mexico It supplied the tainted jalapeno peppers found at Agricola Zaragosa, It’s possible that the contamination occurred not at that farm but at a distribution center.
Both Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas are separated from the U.S. only by the Rio Grande and the farms are easily accessbile to U.S. distributors.
Check out the entire Wapo story here.