Control of contamination of fresh produce in guacamole and salsa starts on the farm

I was with this girl once in my younger days and we were driving north somewhere in Ontario. She had previously consumed a bunch of guacamole and a few beverages, and it wasn’t long before she was vomiting the most vile smelling guacamole barf.

I’ve never eaten the stuff again (although people in the current household like it, as seen in this nearly empty bowl of guacamole photographed in the most attractive manner I could, last night).

Sol noted yesterday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported nearly 1 out of every 25 restaurant-associated foodborne outbreaks with identified food sources between 1998 and 2008 can be traced back to contaminated salsa or guacamole, more than double the rate during the previous decade.

Improper storage and worker contamination accounted for half the outbreaks, but, as noted by one of the researchers,

"Salsa and guacamole often contain diced raw produce including hot peppers, tomatoes and cilantro, each of which has been implicated in past outbreaks."

That part was sorta downplayed in the press release, but it shouldn’t be. The great salmonella outbreak of 2008 involved jalapeno peppers arriving contaminated at restaurants.

Food safety starts on the farm.