Are Tomatoes to Blame for Salmonella Outbreak?

salsa

What if the salsa did it?Photo: iStockphoto

The mystery of the great salmonella outbreak not only hasn’t been solved: It's unlikely it ever will be, says the Times’ Lede blog. Thanks to the practice of “repacking,” in which tomatoes from different farms are put together, unmarked, there’s almost no way to track which farms the tainted tomatoes came from. In fact, there’s no way to even know if it was tomatoes that caused the trouble to begin with: Since a lot of the people who got sick ate their tomatoes in salsa, it's now thought that the salmonella could have come from jalapeño peppers, green onions, cilantro, "and so on," as the post says. (The "and so on" is particularly chilling.) Nobody has been getting sick recently, so presumably this episode will pass into the history books. At least until the next vast, unpredictable, and unexplained food crisis hits the nation. That’s a reassuring thought, no?

Unsolved Mysteries: Tainted Tomatoes or Not? [NYT]