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CDC: Tex-Mex Favorites Are Making Us Sick

Infierno infermo! First, salsa beats out ketchup for the American palette, now it's taking over our bellies.

Infierno infermo! First, salsa beats out ketchup for the American palette, now it’s taking over our bellies.

At the 2010 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Centers for Disease Control released a body of research showing that levels of foodborne illness in fresh sauces like salsa, guacamole and pico de gallo more than doubled between 1998 and 2008.

With nearly one of every 25 outbreaks of restaurant-affiliated foodborne illness being attributed to these salsas crudas, the CDC has given them their own classification: SGAs, which is short for salsa- or guacamole-associated outbreaks.

While freshly-made condiments are healthier than highly-processed ones, the CDC urge the public to take greater care in the preparation and storage of salsas and guacamoles.

Hot peppers, tomatoes and cilantro — staple salsa ingredients — all have a history of causing outbreaks.

Read More:

  • Salsa and Guacamole Increasingly Important Causes of Foodborne Disease (CDC)
  • Food Poisoning? Holy Guacamole! And Salsa, Too. (NPR)

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Megan Meyer

Megan Meyer was in the company of foodies for most of her formative years. She spent all of her teens working at her town's natural food co-op in South Dakota, and later when she moved to Minneapolis, worked as a produce maven for the nation's longest running collectively-managed food co-op. In 2006, she had the distinct pleasure (and pain) of participating the vendanges, or grape harvest, in the Beaujolais terroire of France, where she developed her compulsion to snip off grape clusters wherever they may hang. In the spring of 2008, Megan interned on NPR's Science Desk in Washington, D.C., where she aided in the coverage of science, health and food policy stories. She joined Indiana Public Media in June, 2009.

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