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  1. CFSAN Constituent Updates

FDA Shares Data from Ongoing Sampling Program

Constituent Update

What’s New

August 14, 2017

As of July 1, 2017, the FDA has tested 1,558 cucumber samples (355 domestic; 1,203 imports), and 1,595 hot pepper samples (311 domestic, 1,284 imports). Of the cucumber samples, 28 tested positive for Salmonella (11 domestic, 17 imports), while the rest tested negative for the targeted pathogens. Of the hot pepper samples, 46 tested positive for Salmonella (1 domestic, 45 imports), and 1 tested positive for a strain of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli that was determined to be incapable of causing severe illness, while the rest tested negative for the targeted pathogens. The FDA anticipates that its sample collection and testing will be complete in coming weeks. The agency plans to issue summary reports on each commodity, including an analysis of the data, later this year.

April 21, 2017

As of April 1, 2017, the FDA has tested 1,494 cucumber samples (353 domestic, 1,141 imports), and 1,565 hot pepper samples (310 domestic, 1,255 imports). Of the cucumber samples, 28 tested positive for Salmonella (11 domestic, 17 imports), while the rest tested negative for the targeted pathogens. Of the hot pepper samples, 45 tested positive for Salmonella (1 domestic, 44 imports), and 1 tested positive for a strain of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli that was determined to be incapable of causing severe illness, while the rest tested negative for the targeted pathogens. The FDA anticipates that its sample collection and testing will be complete this summer. The agency plans to issue summary reports on each commodity, including an analysis of the data, later this year.

February 13, 2017

As of January 1, 2017, the FDA has tested 1,328 cucumber samples (352 domestic, 976 imports), and 1,387 hot pepper samples (287 domestic, 1,100 imports). Of the cucumber samples, 27 tested positive for Salmonella (11 domestic, 16 imports), while the rest tested negative for the targeted pathogens. Of the hot pepper samples, 42 tested positive for Salmonella (1 domestic, 41 imports), and 1 tested positive for a strain of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli that was determined to be incapable of causing severe illness, while the rest tested negative for the targeted pathogens. Testing is still underway and no conclusions can be drawn at this time.

Original Constituent Update

November 17, 2016

As part of its overall mission to ensure food safety and prevent contaminated products from reaching consumers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is releasing interim test results from its concentrated sampling of cucumbers and hot peppers.

In 2014, the FDA adopted a new, proactive sampling program for a variety of commodities to learn more about the prevalence of disease-causing bacteria and to help the agency identify patterns that may help predict and prevent future contamination. These large-scale microbiological sampling assignments were designed to collect a statistically determined number of samples of certain commodities over 12 to 18 months and test them for certain types of bacteria that can cause foodborne illnesses.

The FDA began sampling and testing cucumbers and hot peppers because these products have previously been associated with large-scale outbreaks of foodborne illness and may come into contact with contaminated water, soil or equipment during growing, harvesting, and post-harvest. The agency is in the process of collecting and testing approximately 1,600 samples of each commodity for Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7. The hot peppers also are being tested for Shiga-toxin producing E. coli.

As of October 1, 2016, the FDA has tested 1,050 cucumber samples and 1,130 hot pepper samples. Of the cucumber samples, 15 tested positive for Salmonella while the rest tested negative for all of the targeted pathogens. Of the hot pepper samples, 35 tested positive for Salmonella, and one tested positive for a strain of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli that was determined to be incapable of causing severe illness, while the rest tested negative for all of the targeted pathogens. This testing is still underway and no conclusions can be drawn at this time.

As more data becomes available, the FDA will continue to share test results from sampling assignments, including total number of samples collected and tested, sample type, and pathogen detected for positive samples.

For Additional Information: