When it comes to cilantro, there is no middle ground: people either love it or loathe it. Thanks to a genetic property that makes the herb taste like soap to some, there are very passionate camps on either side of the cilantro debate. Now, thanks to a newly announced partial ban on the green plant, cilantro haters are going to have a field day: human feces and toilet paper were recently found in a Mexican cilantro crop, ending with literally crappy results.
Following hundreds of cyclosporiasis cases in Texas, the Food and Drug Administration is now seizing cilantro for inspection at the Mexican border. The illness, an intestinal infection brought on by microscopic parasites, is often caused by fecal contamination and causes diarrhea. To combat more cases of cyclosporiasis, the FDA sent out an alert for districts to detain fresh cilantro shipments from Mexico dated between April 1 and August 31.
“It is good news that FDA has identified the problem and can now turn away potentially tainted cilantro at the border,” read a Center For Science in the Public Interest release about the ban. “The real challenge, though, is for FDA and its counterparts around the world to stop food from being contaminated, and consumers from becoming ill, in the first place. In this particular instance, it means ensuring that farmworkers have the kind of adequate toilet, hand-washing, and sanitation facilities that will prevent the appalling conditions FDA found in Puebla [Mexico].”
So if you’re a fan of cilantro, be wary of the herb throughout August . . . while the FDA is paying extra close attention to fresh cilantro at the border, “multi-ingredient processed foods that contain cilantro as an ingredient are not covered under this alert and neither is cilantro that has been processed in other ways besides being cut or chopped.” And try to go easy with the “I told you so” statements, cilantro haters; while this one crop might have been sh*tty, the leafy green herb is amazing on tacos.
Image Source: Flickr user henriquev