In April of 2008, public health officials in several states and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began investigating a Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak. Initial reports from case-patients led investigators to believe that tomatoes were the source of the Salmonella outbreak; however, it was later determined that jalapeno and Serrano peppers grown in Mexico were the source.
By August of 2009, outbreak investigators had identified 1442 people who had become infected with Salmonella Saintpaul after eating contaminated jalapeno and Serrano peppers, and indicated that tomatoes may have been an additional source of infection at the beginning of the outbreak. At least 286 people were hospitalized with Salmonella Saintpaul infections during this outbreak, and two people’s deaths may have been caused by their Salmonella infections.
On August 28, 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that CDC investigators had been working with state, local, and tribal health departments to investigate the nationwide Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak. CDC stated that testing of jalapeno and Serrano peppers, and water from a farm in Mexico where the peppers were grown, tested positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul.
Marler Clark filed a Salmonella lawsuit against Wal-Mart, and the distributor of Salmonella Saintpaul-contaminated peppers that were sold at Wal-Mart stores in July of 2008. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Colorado resident who became ill with Salmonella after eating fresh jalapeno peppers purchased from a Wal-Mart store in Cortez, Colorado.