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A salmonella outbreak that has made over 1,000 people ill since June is changing focus. Originally it was believed that tomatoes were to blame for the rare Saintpaul strain of salmonella that was responsible for illnesses in states across the country. After testing of tomatoes found no salmonella investigators are now testing jalapeño and serrano peppers and cilantro.

The Food and Drug Administration last week advised high-risk consumers, such as the young and old, to avoid fresh jalapeño and serrano peppers. The FDA first linked the outbreak in June to some types of raw tomatoes, which are still suspects.

Shipments of peppers from Mexico are being held up while testing is being done. In many cases the peppers are rotting before the results are in. It takes 10 days for a test result. Many grocery stores have placed signs in the produce department to alert customers about the FDA warning.

Salmonella can cause vomitting, diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramping. It may take 24-72 hours for symptoms to occur after exposure.

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