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Enteric Pathogens in Mexican Sauces of Popular Restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Houston, Texas

Javier A. Adachi, MD; John J. Mathewson, PhD; Zhi-Dong Jiang, MD, PhD; Charles D. Ericsson, MD; and Herbert L. DuPont, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

From University of Texas, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.


Acknowledgments: The authors thank the participating members of their field and laboratory teams: Drs. Sylvia Botros, Catherine Devine, Mariela Glandt, David Martin, David McMillen, and Sara Woods and Ms. Carmen Pulido. They also thank Mrs. Margaret DuPont for valuable assistance.

Grant Support: By private funds from the University of Texas–Houston Medical School.

Requests for Single Reprints: Herbert L. DuPont, MD, Internal Medicine Service, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, 6720 Bertner Avenue, MC 1-164, Houston, TX 77030; e-mail, hdupont@sleh.com.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Adachi: Center for Infectious Diseases, 6720 Bertner Avenue, MC 1-164, Houston, TX 77030.

Dr. Mathewson: Houston Department of Health and Human Services, 1115 Braeswood, Houston, TX 77030.

Dr. Jiang: Center for Infectious Diseases, 1200 Hermann Pressler, RAS W 706, Houston, TX 77030.

Dr. Ericsson: Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Texas–Houston, 6431 Fannin Street, 1.722 JFB, Houston, TX 77030.

Dr. DuPont: Internal Medicine Service, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, 6720 Bertner Avenue, MC 1-164, Houston, TX 77030.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: J.A. Adachi, J.J. Mathewson, C.D. Ericsson, H.L. DuPont.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: J.A. Adachi, J.J. Mathewson, Z-D. Jiang, C.D. Ericsson, H.L. DuPont.

Drafting of the article: J.A. Adachi.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: J.A. Adachi, J.J. Mathewson, Z-D. Jiang, C.D. Ericsson, H.L. DuPont.

Final approval of the article: J.A. Adachi, J.J. Mathewson, Z-D. Jiang, C.D. Ericsson, H.L. DuPont.

Provision of study materials or patients: J.A. Adachi, Z-D. Jiang.

Statistical expertise: J.A. Adachi, C.D. Ericsson.

Obtaining of funding: J.J. Mathewson, C.D. Ericsson, H.L. DuPont.

Administrative, technical, or logistic support: J.A. Adachi, J.J. Mathewson, Z-D. Jiang, H.L. DuPont.

Collection and assembly of data: J.A. Adachi.


Ann Intern Med. 2002;136(12):884-887. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-136-12-200206180-00009
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Background: The transmission of traveler's diarrhea is primarily foodborne.

Objective: To examine the level of microbial contamination of tabletop sauces found in Mexican-style restaurants.

Design: Cross-sectional study of Mexican sauces.

Setting: Mexican restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Houston, Texas, during the summer of 1998.

Measurements: 71 sauces from Guadalajara and 25 sauces from Houston were examined. The number of sauces contaminated with Escherichia coli, the median number of E. coli colonies per gram of sauce, and enteropathogens were identified.

Results: 47 of 71 sauces from Guadalajara were contaminated with E. coli versus 10 of 25 sauces from Houston (P = 0.03); the median number of E. coli colonies per gram of sauce was 1000 in the Guadalajara sauces versus 0.0 in the Houston sauces (P = 0.007). Among sauces from Guadalajara tested for diarrheogenic E. coli, 4 of 43 sauces contained enterotoxigenic E. coli and 14 of 32 contained enteroaggregative E. coli.

Conclusions: Contamination with E. coli was common in samples of Mexican tabletop sauces from Guadalajara restaurants. These sauces commonly contained enteric pathogens.

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Summary for Patients

Bacteria in Condiment Sauces on Tables in Mexican-Style Restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Houston, Texas

The summary below is from the full report titled “Enteric Pathogens in Mexican Sauces of Popular Restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Houston, Texas.” It is in the 18 June 2002 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 136, pages 884-887). The authors are JA Adachi, JJ Mathewson, Z-D Jiang, CD Ericsson, and HL DuPont.

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