Thursday, March 29, 2012


Salsa is probably one of the most dangerous dishes you can eat, especially if you eat it in a restaurant. But ready-to-eat salsa bought in a store can be risky too.

The reason: salsa has a high chance of containing bacteria that can make you ill - ones like Salmonella. They can be there in the raw ingredients (such as hot hot peppers, cilantro and tomatoes) to begin with. Of course, there is no cooking step to kill them. In some 30% of cases a major problem is that the salsa is not stored properly, helping small numbers of bacteria to multiply. And in an estimated 20% of cases, the equipment used or food workers are the source of contamination.

That is why the current recall by Club Chef LLC of its Hot Salsa, Mild Salsa and Pico de Gallo products has come as no great surprise. Believe me, this is no small salsa maker. The product was distributed to retailers and foodservice distributors within eleven states in the U.S.: Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana and Illinois.

In stores, these salsa products are sold in 12 oz. (Private Selection brand name) and 16 oz. (Heinen’s brand name) clear plastic packages marked with Use by Date of 3/27/2012 (see photo). And by the way, the use-by date is 12 or 13 days after the shipping date. So much for the "fresh" salsa!

If you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system, you would be wise to pass on ready-to-eat or restaurant salsa.

To your good health,


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