• ITVI.USA
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
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  • ITVI.USA
    16,350.840
    -55.350
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.731
    0.025
    0.9%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.660
    -0.160
    -0.7%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,343.200
    -45.660
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
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  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
American ShipperWarehouse

Salmonella inquiry to target Mexican veggies

Salmonella inquiry to target Mexican veggies

U.S. food and health inspectors will begin stopping shipments of ingredients from Mexico commonly used to make salsa as the search continues for the possible source of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 940 people in 40 states, CNN reported on its Web site over the weekend.

   Officials have expanded their investigation beyond tomatoes to include cilantro, jalape'o peppers, Serrano peppers, scallions and bulb onions, a Food and Drug Administration spokesperson told the news organization. Last week, FDA officials said they would expand testing beyond tomatoes to include items commonly consumed with tomatoes, but did not identify any specific vegetables.

   CNN said investigators plan to halt imports at the border, take samples and send them to laboratories to examine them for possible salmonella or E. coli bacteria spread from animal or human fecal material.

   Meanwhile, a team of FDA inspectors is collecting soil, water and produce samples, reviewing export logs and irrigation methods, and visiting packing plants in three major tomato-producing states in Mexico. The inspectors have visited five farms so far.

   The difficulty in finding the original source of the contamination after the Food and Drug Administration warned in April about three types of tomatoes has increased calls for a better system to trace food through the supply chain. Unsanitary farming techniques can cause problems, but food products can also be contaminated anywhere along the supply path from the processor, the wholesaler, the transporter or the retailer.

   Mexico supplies 80 percent of the tomatoes imported into the United States and the U.S. warnings have Mexican officials worried about harm to their $1 billion tomato industry as consumers stopped buying the fruit. Mexican growers are now selling their export-quality tomatoes in Mexico at a third of the price or storing them in warehouses, according to dispatches from that country. Mexican farmers want the United States to quickly announce the results of its findings to clear their produce from suspicion and prevent tons of tomatoes from rotting.

      Tomatoes from Florida and Texas are also under suspicion. ' Eric Kulisch

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