A New Jersey spice importer supplied the salmonella-contaminated seasoning used on snack food that has sickened 60 people, most of them infants and toddlers, the company recalling the snacks said Thursday.
Robert’s American Gourmet Inc. purchased the seasoning from Atlantic Quality Spice & Seasonings, said Robert Ehrlich, president and chief executive of the snack food company. The Sea Cliff, N.Y., company has recalled its Super Veggie Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks and Veggie Booty snack foods, both of which used the spray-on seasoning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an update on its investigation into a Salmonella outbreak traced to Veggie Booty, a snack food popular with infants and toddlers, on July 10. CDC stated in part:
As of July 10 at 11AM ET, 60 persons infected with Salmonella Wandsworth have been reported to CDC from 19 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin. Among the patients for whom clinical information is available, 77% developed bloody diarrhea and 10% were hospitalized. No deaths have been attributed to this infection. Onset dates, which are known for 58 patients, ranged from March 4, 2007 to June 15, 2007. Most (90%) of cases have occurred in children aged 10 months to 3 years. During the initial phase of the outbreak, the number of cases gradually increased, with only 8 cases reported from 6 states before May 1, 2007. Health department and CDC investigators worked for weeks conducting interviews with parents of ill children to develop theories about possible sources of infection.
A multi-state case-control study demonstrated a strong association between illness and consumption of Veggie Booty, a snack of puffed rice and corn with a vegetable coating. CDC OutbreakNet staff shared this information with colleagues at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on June 27. After being informed about the outbreak by FDA, the company that manufactures the product issued a voluntary recall on June 28. None of the 60 known illnesses from Salmonella Wandsworth had onset after the product recall date. Persons are advised to discard any product in their possession.