Health Warning: Be Aware Where Your Vegetables Came From…


The following health warning regarding the possibility of ‘tainted’ vegetables (in your grocery store?) is gross, but very serious nonetheless. After reading this you will want to know where your vegetables came from, and/or it may seriously motivate you to grow your own…

The following warning is very likely just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak…

The FDA issued a warning on Monday that cilantro imported from Puebla, Mexico has caused outbreaks of intestinal disease in Texas and Wisconsin.

And here’s the gross part… The reason is due to the behavior of Mexican field workers defecating amongst the vegetables. The report by the FDA cited inspections that found human feces and toilet paper in fields where the cilantro was grown.

Conditions observed at multiple such firms (in Mexico) included human feces and toilet paper found in growing fields and around facilities; inadequately maintained and supplied toilet and hand washing facilities (no soap, no toilet paper, no running water, no paper towels) or a complete lack of toilet and hand washing facilities; food-contact surfaces (such as plastic crates used to transport cilantro or tables where cilantro was cut and bundled) visibly dirty and not washed; and water used for purposes such as washing cilantro vulnerable to contamination from sewage/septic systems. In addition, at one such firm, water in a holding tank used to provide water to employees to wash their hands at the bathrooms was found to be positive for C. cayetanensis.

– FDA Report excerpt

Apparently the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 200 recent cases of Cyclosporiasis and there is apparently an outbreak in Wisconsin.

Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the parasite ‘Cyclospora cayetanensis’ (infected people shed this in their stool).

Sanitation Diagram:

Sorry to gross you out, but, imagine where so much of your imported food and vegetables come from. Do you believe that these are places where workers and conditions are squeaky clean? In reality they are likely much worse. There is no doubt in my mind that just because they’ve identified cilantro (in this particular warning) does not mean that there are no other examples of this kind of contamination in other imported vegetables.

My suggestions?

Know where your food comes from. Whooops — the United States Congress just voted to to nix the “country of origin labeling”! I wonder why? Oh that’s right — they’re not concerned about you and I (except right prior to an election) — instead it’s about the lobbyist money from big business…

Grow your own vegetables!

And/or sanitize your vegetables…

What’s your opinion about this? Do you believe that it is likely typical for so called ‘3rd-world’ country vegetable pickers to relieve themselves amongst the fields and to be operating and distributing in unhealthy and dirty unsanitary conditions? Do you believe that most Americans don’t give it a single thought in the grocery stores? How many of you wash your vegetables? How do you do it? Lots of questions…


  1. sorry to say, this may not be the real or only source of this problem…

    I have read, many times, that fields (of all kinds) are watered/fertilized with sewage effluent from human sewage “treatment” facilities and large commercial farms. Sewage treatment (so to speak) does not kill much of the bacteria or take out much of the toxins.

    Apparently this goes on in much of North America and “civilized” countries.

    As you say, best to grow your own, if you can.

  2. As disgusting as it is to defecate alongside growing vegetables, this is a rather common practice in countries across South America.

    I was in Peru some decades ago and went to a fast food restaurant to order a burger with lettuce and tomato. The locals quickly advised us to forget the vegetables and just go with the burger by itself. They said some fields are outright fertilized with human waste.

    And, as a bonus to that trip, I even saw someone defecate for all to see at the beaches while in Peru. Nasty and sad all at once.

    There’s some solid reasoning for you to keep it local at the farmer’s markets or to just grow your own…

  3. Bird droppings are quite nasty too. They carry a lot of nasties. Back when the birds were carrying I forget which virus, I looked up how long the virus remained alive in the droppings and it was something like two weeks in the hot summer and at least four weeks in the colder winter monthes. The birds always love my garden since there are a lot of happy worms there…

  4. some interesting stuff to google

    “sewage effluent” irrigation

    “sewage effluent” toxins

    “sewage effluent” chemicals

    “sewage effluent” estrogens

    “sewage effluent” e coli

    “sewage effluent” Escherichia coli Regrowth

    “sewage effluent” viruses

    “sewage effluent” bacteria

    “sewage effluent” drugs

    “sewage effluent” pharmaceuticals

    “sewage effluent” antibiotics

    “sewage effluent” multiple antibiotic resistant bacteria

    “sewage effluent” vegetables

    “sewage effluent” lettuce

    “sewage effluent” kale

  5. Heard a report today that only 6% of American hospitals received a “good score” on their infection control practices. Approximately 75K people die in American hospitals due to infections obtained while in the hospital. Looks like we are joining the 3rd world countries.

    1. IMHO, Hospitals are great for the “emergencies”, GSW, broken something, major cuts, and so on. Get it fixed and get the hell out of there….
      If you get “sick, go see a doctor (not at a hospital) and go the heck home. Hospitals kill a LOT LOT LOT of people every year. Here is a quote from a leading researcher.

      “Washington, D.C., October 23, 2013 – New research estimates up to 440,000 Americans are dying annually from preventable hospital errors. This puts medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States”

      And that just “ERRORS”!!!! that’s a HUGE crock of BS!!!!

      Just something to think about when you check into a Hosp. and sign that entrance paperwork.

    2. Bill

      For my family that’s old news.

      My Father in Law had emphysema (life long smoker) and periodically went into the hospital as a result.

      Anyway, I can’t remember a time he didn’t come out of there on medication due to a staff infection caught while being ‘Helped’.

      A friend I work with (geeze, 39 years old at the time) went in for a,,, get this a sextuple bypass surgery on his heart.

      A day after surgery we went in to give a visit. My wife and I were waiting outside his room while the nurse was doing her thing.

      There was a cart out there in the hallway (vials, syringes, and paraphernalia for taking various bodily fluids.

      Well, there was spilled dried blood all over it,,,, my wife was horrified.

      My local physician rags on me for not seeing him more often,,,, wants me to go in for this or that,,,, hell no!

      Remember, the first person that gets a test using some contraption gets the sterile one. The rest get the same device,,,, ‘Cleaned’.

      The buck,,,, it’s all about the buck. Thank our benevolent government for that.

      Health care is broken,,, yeah,,,, that’s because you’ve broken it. Get out!

      Let the free market dictate US Medicine, and this travesty will be a memory.

      Thanks Bill for bringing this up.

  6. This is the main reason I buy fruits and vegetables from small local farms. I know that there are some things that we just can’t grow in our area, and we are taking chances every time we buy at the grocery store. At least if you purchase from a small producer this is less likely to be a problem. It seems every time you hear about contaminated fruits and veggies, the recall might be spread over a dozen states, which tells me that the problems almost always originate from the larger producers. Look into CSA’s for your produce needs if you cannot produce your own.

  7. I doubt that the sanitary conditions are substantially better at USA factory farms.

    1. Same workers, Same corporations running them. Why would anyone think they would be any difference.

      As a side note, 99.9999% of the “farm workers” are paid by the amount of produce they pick, do you really think they are going to hike 1/2 mile to use a “porta-potty” and wash their hands? For them time is money.

      1. US farmers under the visa programs for immigrant labor can hire and import labor legally and pay them peanuts, local growers here do it, totally unethical in mybook, but they do it, not only do they do this but they pretty much falsify ALL documentation related to food safety, yea sure they have a food safety officer in their company who does the day to day audits and record keeping, THAT doesnt make some Thai immigrant wash their hands after taking a crap, is all BS

    2. When I did field work near Homestead Florida we would board a pickup truck and drive for about 40 minutes to a field in the middle of a jungle. There are no bathroom facilities. You don’t dare go near the edge of the field because of snakes and who knows what in the jungle. The guards carried firearms, I watched one guard pick a tomato and cut about 1/4″ of skin off all around before eating it. I ate one, skin and all, and got sick. We only picked green ones with no trace of ripening. On the way home at the end of the day the truck made a stop at the company store (they owned it) and the workers bought highly overpriced refreshments. Alongside me in the field were transients who went from Mexico to Florida, Texas and California. There were teachers on summer vacation, and there were drunks and mentally challenged. Back at the processing plant the green tomatoes were washed in a giant mechanized tub, and the discards tossed. The rest went to a giant gas chamber where they were gassed until they “ripened”.

      To this day (that was 43 years ago) I have not eaten a tomato from the grocery store.

      1. Yes Sir, I have purchased my last tomato from a store period, at $3 a pound they really do taste like ……..

        And can you imagine what the “caned” tomatoes and sauces are like?

        I’m losing my appetite very quickly, just think on what the other foods are ray made of, anyone for a can of Spam?


        1. I heard some guy saying that he researched Spam ingredients to decide whether not to keep using it as he liked it. He found it contained a max of 7 ingredients and none of them were anything to avoid. But I’d be interested in hearing anything more about it. For us it’s not a camping trip unless we have some Spam fried up. You’d have to be really, really hungry to eat it right out of the can.

  8. I am a commercial grower,
    Have spent way too much time following news and reading about my trade.

    I find it interesting that at the same time these ass hats in congress are reducing labeling requirements they are also moving ahead with implementation of the food safety modernization act, that will pretty much put small producers like myself out of business unless we comply with the feds laundry list of regulations.

    So now not only is where your food comes from not listed, the foreign producers dont have to follow the same rules that growers in the states have to follow.
    Total crap if you ask me.

    People think the FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) is wonderful because it will make their food safe, all its going to do is assure that your food comes from a factory farm that could care less about food safety but that has enough money to pay for the audits and the certificate. Its like gun control for your veggies, register them, regulate them, inspect them and fine the holder if they dont conform.

    So yea, go ahead and keep cheering on crap like food safety laws, but dont whine when your head of lettuce costs you 12$ and makes you sick anyway because the huge factory farm cant really monitor their immigrant labor anyway or because the lettuce you thought was grown in SoCal was really grown way south of the border where there are NO standards.

    I know for a fact that wholesalers buy mexican grown produce labeled as organic and sell it in the US, but that there really is no inspection of farms south of the border, our local stores all buy and re sell organic and even conventional from mainland (so cal) wholesalers and when you track the PLU or barcode it simply lists a corporate POBox, and toll free #.

    ALL of the recent food bourne illness outbreaks have been from farms that are either A. Already in the Food Safety program or B. Purchase and re sell produce from foreign growers.

    1. I will be the first to Thank You Kula; I appreciate any and all efforts of people like yourself. I am sure that running a “clean” farm is a lot more work and dedication, than where 99% of the produce comes from.
      I also believe that most, farms that are personally owned are of the same think as yourself. Unfortunately, like myself being from Ohio and giving up the farm so to speak, the “big boys” will push us out quickly. Mass production and Mass resale is the name of the game, no mater how many “they” sicken or kill. They $12 lettuce is what they are pushing for IMHO
      Thank you again for your work, your the type of people that should be feeding the people, not Monsanto.

  9. ~Not only is it likely for
    “so called ‘3rd-world’ country vegetable pickers to relieve themselves amongst the fields and to be operating and distributing in unhealthy and dirty unsanitary conditions”, it is highly likely in the U.S., and in Canada! Anywhere there are workers, dealing with FOOD, their is a high chance of contamination.
    NOW…THIS is gross… but since i am attempting to prove my point…
    i bet if you go to a busy Public washroom that Does have water/soap and hand towels…
    Observe the hand washing practices!

    How many people wash their hands?
    How long and how well did they wash there hands OR did they even wash them at all?
    Now consider the door handle they just exited from. Yuck!

    Not only is it just “field hands”, but
    Food Manufacturing companies, and restaurants Worldwide!

    Too much trust is given to “strangers”.

    Now, add in the much lower National food safe practices of “other Countries”, say like china.

    Add in inhumane slaughtering practices such as… if a sick diseased pig can make it up the ramp into the truck to haul it to slaughter… it passes… and even if it doesn’t make it, i am sure it might somehow still enter the human or at least “dog-food market)!

    Add in pollution , herbicide, antibiotics, fungicide, pesticide, G.M.O., and of course foods from the “Fuchishima” disaster!
    A.K.A.- Seafood from Pacific Ocean, and nearby Countries!
    ( Once Fuchushima struck, a Humungeous amount of Airborne Radiation blowback went West towards Asia)!
    Also, how many years since the Disaster?…California, B.C. and the entire Pacific West Coast now has high levels of Radiation…How much is inland)?!
    Do you believe that most Americans don’t give it a single thought in the grocery stores?

    ~Very likely that little thought goes into food purchases. All most people
    are thinking about is “filling the hole”, and $aving a buck.
    How many of you wash your vegetables?

    ~First, i do not eat enough fresh veggies and fruit! i admit it!
    ~i do not always follow the food safe practice of washing my produce enough! i WILL TRY from now on!
    i DO religiously wash my hands a billion times and keep and have GOOD hygienic “kitchen” practices… and i live mostly full time in the Bush!
    It is not hard to do, even easier if you have running water in a modern kitchen!
    ( one last note: in S.H.T.F. Hard Times i would highly suggest people think hard on “HOW” they will maintain hygienic food Preparation Practices; storing “Pool Shock”, for this purpose alone could be a lifesaver)!
    “country of origin labeling”,

    ~ i am always looking for ” origin” labeling, and get pissed if i do not see it. The ” new” thing i am seeing
    these days, is instead of ” origin”,
    it says: “imported by”:.
    ..yaddayadda corporation. bypassing the “origin” label using a loophole?!

    Good Article Sir!


    ~i attempt to “buy” local as much as i can, and i attempt to “Buy North American” and from N.A.T.O. Countries as much as can.

    ~i Boycott anything from china as every $ spent makes them richer, and would rather see Canada and Her Allies make dat’ $ !
    And her Sabre Rattling Crap pisses me right off!

    ~china, and other Countries utilize ” night soil” practices, which is “safe”, although kinda gross. But it must be done PROPERLY!

    Night soil

    1. I find a lot of, “distributed by” and its a US company, but many times there isn’t a country of origin.

      I hate this new tactic, I want to know where the stuff comes from. I love when the company is proud enough of their product to put where it was made.

      And the thing I like to see the most is “Proudly made in the USA”. I will buy that one over the others, when there is the choice.

  10. Buy, wash, cook, eat. if you want that raw salad or raw vegs on that Hamburger you had better know where it’s coming from.

    I agree 1000% with several others here, buy local, know the growers, grow it yourself. I look at this as no different in finding an decaying animal alongside the road and eating it uncooked.

    You are what you eat, or so the old saying goes. Do you really know what’s in that lunch or dinner you eat at a restaurant? Or in most of the food we buy for that matter?

    Here is one for you, How “safe/clean” is that water coming out of your tap? How many hundreds of time do we see news reports to boil (or not use) your water, or not drink it? Do a quick search, it’s amazing/SHOCKING.

    Another good “wakeup call” from Ken. Thanks

    1. @NRP
      Buy local is fine and well, but the “Know your farmer” is most likely the bigger statement, here, as well as many othe local areas, bigger farms employ armies of immigrants, so yea its a local farm, but the farmer doesnt really have a handle on daily in field happenings,

  11. This is a problem with all fresh leafy vegetables. Almost anything can contaminate them and it is very difficult to clean them. It is a worry for every salad, every salsa, every food item with a little lettuce or other leafy vegetable placed on it. Even the garnish on your plate that you do not eat can contaminate your food. Companies that bag salad mix generally wash their lettuces in a mild bleach water bath but even then they have had cases where people have gotten sick from eating them. Today I bought some cilantro for my Mexican style dinner plans and I did worry about it. It doesn’t matter where you buy it or consume it the risk is very real.

  12. It’s bad enough to have to watch the food quality coming to the stores.

    But having worked around the food chain for many years, the food safety once arriving at the local market comes into question.

    I worked in supermarket refrigeration, we had to pass the States food safety course. Most of the stores I worked in, only the manager, or department manager had to hold the certification.

    And since we are disgusting each other, know this! Regardless of which store you shop, they are all the same.

    Ok the guy that didn’t wash his hands after using the bath room, comes out and now touches the handle of the shopping cart. Then continues to handle merchandise throughout the store, and the next person comes along and well you see where I’m going.

    The general American public has poor to very poor , health practices. Hand washing could prevent food borne illnesses, also prevent the spread of influenza. But each year we have a huge push for flu shots?

    I personally have not had a flu shot for 20+ years, and I worked in some of the filthiest places there are in public. Grocery stores, restaurants and hospitals! I’m not superman, I just fallow good sanitary practices. Wash your hands, proper food safety practices, and what people overlook. Clean water, what comes out of the faucet may be ok to flush your toilet. But is it really safe to drink? Have it tested, know the truth, and know the facts.

    Don’t want to get started ice, public ice dispensers. Just don’t use it!

  13. Wow !

    Not much to add here,,,, great article, and posts. Thanks.

    We also grow our own food and purchase local produce (stuff we can’t) from a trusted farmer.

    The FSMA ‘Kula’ spoke about is yet another outrage, but I believe that it alone will not prevent our continued support of our local growers.

    A more ominous threat is the new EPA ‘Clean Water Act’ rules,,, as usual just thought up by some leftist bureaucrat,,, not elected officials.

    It used to be that the EPA only controlled ‘navigable waterways’,,,, well they’ve expanded their control to everything down to the lowly storm drain.

    Beware of this friends.

    We have a great little creek that runs through our property (never dries up). It’s funny a ‘Great Blue Heron’ spends spring and early summer every year taking the small fish that live in it. Heck, I live in the Upstate of SC.

    Anyway, what’s not funny is that if they find out, they can condemn my property and make it a wildlife refuge. Believe it.

    P.S. Processed vegetables that come in a bag,,,, in a hurry right,,,, well you know. What dressing would you like on that E. Coli?

  14. Even the veggies and fruit from your home garden should be washed.
    Ever see snails or slugs in the veggie patch?
    Meningitis, liver fluke and lung worm.
    Doesn’t sound good?
    Yeah, washing them is easy.

  15. Wife loves her salads and I love my veggies. She complains because I cook the veggies until they’re mushy, kills everything. I do like the blueberries fresh from the bush but we never spray them. Same with the plums. They seem to be doing very well this year and I’m thinking that the roots have reached the septic tanks leach field.

    Most of the small villages in Viet Nam had fish ponds. They all had an outhouse on a short pier to feed the fish. The pond water was used to irrigate the gardens, kind of a full circle setup. It worked for them.

  16. Speaking of where our food comes from…a new World report predicts that the population of the world will reach 8.5 billion people by 2030 and 11 billion within the century. With food prices and hunger at the rates they are right now…imagine what it will be like when the population reaches those astronomical numbers. Glad that I am starting now to take care of me and mine.

    1. Personally, I highly doubt that the world population will get that high. Once the reset happens (and it will happen) the total loss of life world wide will be in the billions. Sad but true fact of life is that the weak continue to be victims to the morally corrupt and when the SHTF the morally corrupt will abound in huge numbers at the offset….If we are lucky enough to survive the initial ‘kill off’ of the first year of turmoil we’ll see a massive amount of population loss.

    2. Those numbers should worry people. I’ll assume that before that kind of growth would take place governments would step in and either restrict birth numbers or encourage unions which biologically cannot reproduce. Or maybe I just read too much Science Fiction growing up.

  17. One thing to add, every few months there’s always some article or survey somewhere telling us about how Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Combine those stories with this one and it almost seems like “they” want us to get and stay sick.

  18. Well seeing how Ken started with Mexico as an example, I never realized why they are so intent on crossing our border. After going to multiple locations in that country and seeing how they live, I now understand why they want to get out of that $hit hole. They do not flush toilet paper down the toilet, they place the used paper in an open trash can. Nothing is sanitary in ‘Ol Mexico. I came back once so sick that when I finally made it to customs all they asked me was if they wanted for them to call me a medic repeatedly. I refused as all I wanted was to get home. Never got through customs so fast in my life. They wanted me away from them asap!!! I was a walking bio hazard and they did not want me around at all.

    1. And another thought I have on Mexico. If the water is so bad you cannot drink it, what good does it do to wash your hands with it?

  19. I am so grossed out. I threw out my cilantro, just in case. I knew I should have grown some this year.

    1. @ Texasgirl
      YA probably really did not need to toss the greens, just a really good washing, soak/rinse several times, than a final rinse with some Vinegar added.
      Sorry if the gang “grosses” you out, not the intent I believe. Just we all need to be careful of what we eat, and to clean/cook the foods properly

  20. Anywhere there are mexicans picking your veggies or handling your food, you have to worry about e.coli. Simple fact.

    1. Offthepink

      That is because the landowners who hire fruit and vegetable pickers often don’t provide toilet facilities. They just go in the fields next to the produce they are picking. Not the fault of the pickers (if they are here legally, that is) but the fault of the growers.

      I saw a documentary on CNN about young children recruited from Latin America with promises of good jobs paying $15 per hour. The charged up to $15,000 per worker to smuggle children as young as 14 across the border. The parents, not having $15k, put up their homes for security.

      When the children got to the chicken farm, they found that they were working 14-16 hours per day, living in shacks without running water or heat and were being paid only $50 per week. If they threatened to run away, they were told their parents would lose their homes. In some cases they were told that if they ran away, their families would be killed. The poor chickens were living in just as dire circumstances.

      Modern day slavery.

Comments are closed.