Hey the FDA just wants to look out for you by making sure that the only extra kick in your guac comes courtesy of spices and not humans. That’s why they’re putting a ban on fresh cilantro imports from certain areas of Mexico; they found bits of toilet paper and human feces in growing fields.
The experts have established a link between cilantro hailing from the south-central Mexican city of Puebla and some 2013 outbreaks of stomach illness that impacted as many as 643 people across 25 states. Then in 2014 they affected another 278 cases of sickness in the state of Texas alone. It’s suspected by some of the health authorities that even more cases this year may be to blame on tainted cilantro.
Between U.S. and Mexican authorities they investigated 11 different farms and packaging facilities around Puebla as part of their examination into these cross country cases of illness. What they found was eight of these farms had what they considered to be objectionable conditions; some had no toilet facilities or any running water at all. Instead the fields used to grow the herb were used as outhouses.
That said, don’t freak out yet; this ban only covers a portion of herb production. The FDA is still allowing imports of cilantro not grown with human feces for fertilizer. However this is going to affect its availability during the ban period of April to August for the next several years pending farms in Puebla demonstrating they’ve improved their conditions.
Happily for us safe supplies are grown in California and it’s easy to grow your own stash of cilantro for all your future guac adventures.