Jonathan D. Rockoff reports:
A growing number of health officials fear that investigators made a terrible mistake in blaming tomatoes for the sickening of more than 800 Americans, and they increasingly suspect jalapeno peppers, cilantro or some other food commonly found in Mexican restaurants, health officials involved in the investigation say.
The salmonella outbreak should be petering out if contaminated tomatoes were the cause, because tomatoes have a limited shelf life and many consumers have been avoiding them. Yet, the number of reported cases has continued to grow, and investigators have failed to identify the source.
In 1996, investigators initially identified California strawberries as the source of a Cyclospora outbreak that turned out to have been caused by Guatemalan raspberries. Last year, Taco Bell banned green onions during an E. coli outbreak that was later determined to have been the result of tainted lettuce.
Why anyone believes anything the federal government tells them is beyond me.