Oregon Health Officials, Others Taking a Closer Look at the Problems with Pepper

Publication: The Oregonian

Author: Lynne Terry


03/15/2010 - For days last year, Roberta Hellinga  watched her sister suffer in pain in an intensive care unit as doctors performed surgery after surgery, trying to save her life.

Donna Pierce spent a month in Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Hayward, Calif., dying a day before her 70th birthday last April.

She passed away after eating salmonella-tainted white pepper that sickened nearly 90 people last year, including nine  in Oregon.

Recently, another salmonella outbreak was traced to both salmonella-tainted black and red pepper in an outbreak sickening about 250 since July, including nine  in Oregon. No one has died but nearly 50 have been hospitalized.

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"It's clear that some companies do not have a kill step," said Erik Olson, director of food safety at Pew Charitable Trusts. Manufacturers use kill steps such as cooking or irradiation to eliminate pathogens.

Read the full article Oregon Health Officials, Others Taking a Closer Look at the Problems with Pepper on OregonLive.com.

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