April 4, 2019

As of January 1, 2019, the FDA has tested 747 fresh herb samples (441 domestic, 306 import), and 526 processed avocado or guacamole samples (435 domestic, 91 import). Of the fresh herb samples, nine tested positive for Salmonella (4 domestic, 5 import), and six tested positive for Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC), with further characterization determining that the STEC were incapable of causing severe illness. The FDA did not detect E. coli O157:H7 in any of the fresh herb samples that it tested. Of the processed avocado or guacamole samples, 11 tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes (9 domestic, 2 import), and two tested positive for Salmonella (both domestic samples).

The FDA also began testing its fresh herb samples for Cyclospora cayetanensis in July 2018, given that Cyclospora-related illnesses typically occur during the summer. The agency detected Cyclospora cayetanensis in two of the 141 samples of domestically grown fresh herbs tested, and in four of the 74 samples of imported fresh herbs tested. Testing for all pathogens is still underway and no conclusions can be drawn at this time.

December 7, 2018

As of October 1, 2018, the FDA has tested 683 fresh herb samples (407 domestic, 276 import), and 474 processed avocado or guacamole samples (386 domestic, 88 import). Of the fresh herb samples, nine tested positive for Salmonella (4 domestic, 5 import), and six tested positive for Shiga-toxin producing E. coli(STEC), with further characterization determining that the STEC were incapable of causing severe illness. The FDA did not detect E. coli O157:H7 in any of the fresh herb samples that it tested. Of the processed avocado or guacamole samples, 11 tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes (9 domestic, 2 import). The FDA did not detect Salmonella in any of the samples of processed avocado or guacamole.

The FDA also began testing its fresh herb samples for Cyclospora cayetanensis in July given that Cyclospora-related illnesses typically occur during the summer. The agency detected Cyclospora cayetanensis in two of the 107 samples of domestically grown fresh herbs tested, and in two of the 44 samples of imported fresh herbs tested. Testing for all pathogens is still underway and no conclusions can be drawn at this time.

FDA source.