The FDA announed recently yet another secondary recall in the larger salmonella outbreak/recall linked to pepper manufactured and sold by Mincing Overseas Spice Company and Wholesome Spice. 

As the result of a recall of Black Pepper by Mincing Overseas Spice Company, Binell Bros. of Dearborn, MI is recalling ground black pepper because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. The pepper is packaged in clear, plastic bags weighing between ¼ lb and 10 lbs, and was sold on-site between December 11, 2009 and February 2, 2010. The bags are labeled with stickers identifying the distributor, Binell Bros. Cutlery, but no product code. The product was sold in Michigan only.

The original recalls by Wholesome and Mincing occurred as a result of red and black pepper’s implication in a large Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 252 people nationally.  Many other companies have also recalled pepper, or productions containing pepper, in this large outbreak/recall.

Interestingly, Daniele Inc., the company who manufactured and sold the retail product that made people sick in the outbreak (largely because the implicated salami contained, or was coated with, the contaminated pepper), has sued Mincing Overseas Spice Company for losses incurred as a result of the outbreak and result recall.  According to Katie Mulvaney of the Providence Rhode Island Journal,

The company accuses the spice manufacturers of negligence and breach of contract. According to the suit, the company was forced to recall 1.2 million pounds of its meat and refund $1.5 million to customers.

"The hallmarks of success in the specialty food industry are quality and reputation," the suit says.

Founded in 1945, Daniele produced cured meat products, including salami, prosciutto and pancetta that it sold to delis and supermarkets in the United States, Latin American and countries in Asia.

Daniele in 2009 purchased 50,000 pounds of pepper from Wholesome Spice and 40,000 pounds from Mincing, the suit says.

Beginning in July, public health officials nationwide observed a spike in people reporting poisoning symptoms resembling salmonella. During the six-month outbreak, the United States Centers for Disease Control identified at least 252 people in 44 states who were infected, the suit says.

Based on the CDC findings, Daniele recalled ready-to-eat pepper coated salami and other pepper-coated products in January. The Rhode Island Department of Health and other health officials linked the outbreak to black pepper used by Daniele. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that the contaminated black pepper and crushed red pepper had been produced by Wholesome and Mincing. The companies recalled the pepper.