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Increasing Numbers Of Foodborne Diseases Traced To Restaurant Salsa, Guacamole

July 12, 2010: 01:42 PM EST
Research conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that nearly four percent of the restaurant-associated foodborne disease outbreaks between 1998 and 2008 were traced to contaminated salsa or guacamole, a rate that is double that of the ten prior years. Salsa and guacamole often contain diced raw produce, such as hot peppers, tomatoes and cilantro, all of which have been involved in past outbreaks, the CDC said. The agency began monitoring foodborne disease outbreaks in 1973, but no salsa- or guacamole-associated outbreaks were reported before 1984. Eighty-four percent of the 136 outbreaks occurred in restaurants and delis. CDC said that inappropriate storage times or temperatures and food workers were frequently cited as the sources of contamination.
Magdalena Kendall, "Salsa and guacamole increasingly important causes of foodborne disease", Presentation, International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, July 12, 2010, © Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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