According to the CDC, food poisoning from restaurants has recently been linked to contaminated salsa and guacamole dips. Within the past ten years between 1998 and 2008, one in every 25 cases of food poisoning outbreaks has been a result of the salsa and guacamole dips served by restaurants. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated as of Monday (July 12, 2010) that better care needs to be taken by servers and restaurant workers to prevent the causes of food poisoning in the dips in restaurants. The dips are made from raw vegetable ingredients which need to be refrigerated properly to prevent spoiling.
According to Magdalena Kendall of the U.S. Department of Energyâ€™s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, "Possible reasons salsa and guacamole can pose a risk for food borne illness is that they may not be refrigerated appropriately and are often made in large batches, so even a small amount of contamination can affect many customers." If a small amount of dip becomes contaminated, many customers may experience food poisoning as a result, and this is considered a serious health threat. When a small amount of food becomes contaminated, the entire batch needs to be thrown out. This can be costly for the restaurant, or the restaurant may not be able to pinpoint the contamination and as a result will lose money on their inventory when disposing of the potentially contaminated foods.
Customers expect to be served well prepared and stored foods when going out to eat at restaurants. If servers and the restaurants do not take care in refrigerating and storing food properly, then customers will get sick unknowingly. The key to preventing future outbreaks is to properly educating restaurants on the storage and use by dates on products to prevent contamination and outbreak of food poisoning. Oftentimes, those who get sick do not know which foods were contaminated or even which restaurant they got ill from. Preventing food contamination initially will help keep the public healthy and prevent unnecessary food poisoning.