FDA Banning Some Mexican Cilantro After Human Feces and Toilet Paper Found in Fields
The Food and Drug Administration has decided to ban certain imports of fresh cilantro from Puebla, Mexico, after a three-year government investigation into 11 of the farm and packing houses in the area. The FDA initiated the investigation after there were stomach illnesses in the United States linked to Puebla cilantro in 2013 and 2014. Health officials also believe that cilantro from the region is linked to illness in Texas and Wisconsin.
The investigation found "objectionable conditions" at eight of the 11 places. Five of the places were linked to U.S. illness outbreaks. Officials found human feces and toilet paper in some of the growing fields, as well as facilities that had no running water or restrooms. In some of the places investigated, some of the cilantro was held in dirty containers and one place had water that tested positive for the cyclospara parasite, which causes the stomach illness.
The import ban was issued on Monday and affects only certain shipments of fresh cilantro from Puebla from April through August. This ban will continue until the company can prove to the FDA that their product is safe again.