Salsa and Guacamole: Dip at Your Own Risk

guacamoleIn some of the saddest food news I've heard recently, two of my favorite foods -- salsa and guacamole -- were cited by a new study as carrying a high risk for food poisoning.

According to the CDC, about 1 of every 25 cases of food poisoning in recent years can be traced back to contaminated salsa or guacamole prepared in restaurants.

I hate to say it, but ... holy guacamole that's a big Tex-Mex bummer!


"Fresh salsa and guacamole, especially those served in retail food establishments, may be important vehicles of foodborne infection," said Magdalena Kendall, a researcher who collaborated on the CDC study. "Salsa and guacamole often contain diced raw produce including hot peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro, each of which has been implicated in past outbreaks."

The report said that in 30 percent of cases the contamination was due to improper refrigeration, while another 20 percent of cases were from worker contamination. Since the products are usually prepared in large batches, they affect many people when something goes wrong.

The good news is that knowing the source of contamination can hopefully lead to more awareness so that restaurants take more precautions, and we can dip our chips without the worry.

Will this study stop you from eating salsa and guacamole in restaurants?

Image via Sam Howzit/Flickr

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