The California Department of Public Health traced the tainted spice to Union International Food Company, a Union City firm that distributes most of its pepper to Asian restaurants. Most of the 33 sick people found in this state were in northern and central California, although nine additional cases were found in other states.

The products to not have lot or batch numbers, but bear the "Lion How Brand" label, including the company’s entire product line, including ground or whole peppercorns of the white, black and cayenne varieties, chopped onion and onion powder and chopped, minced or granulated garlic.

Lion How Brand wasabi powder and mustard powder should also not be eaten.