U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors have found samples of Salmonella bacteria at a farm in Mexico that produces serrano peppers, officials said on Wednesday.
They matched the strain that has sicked more than 1,300 people across the United States and parts of Canada, David Acheson, FDA associate commissioner for food protection, told a congressional hearing.
“FDA found Salmonella saintpaul in a sample of serrano peppers and a sample of water from a farm in Mexico,” FDA spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek confirmed.
Mexican officials have repeatedly denied that the outbreak, originally blamed on tomatoes but later traced to peppers, could be traced to Mexican farms.
Mexican officials have been angered by the FDA’s statements.
Last week, Enrique Sanchez, director of Mexico’s National Sanitation and Farm Food Quality Service, called the decision “arbitrary” and said it could have an “enormous” harmful impact on the local jalapeno industry.