On May 24, 2011, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) warned the public not to consume Fumagalli La Salumeria brand Seasoned Dry Cured Pork Loin due to the possibility that the product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Yesterday, CFIA expanded the warning to include Fumagalli Pronto e Fresco brand Spianata Romana Salami that
Salami/pepper outbreak and recall summary
The CDC updated its statement on the large Salmonella outbreak linked to now-recalled salami and red and black pepper. According to the CDC’s April 1 statement, the outbreak has sickened 252 people in 44 states and the District of Columbia. The outbreak strain of Salmonella is Montevideo, but Salmonella Senftenberg has also been found in…
Black pepper and HVP rolling recalls continue
The outbreak linked to salami and pepper, and the recall linked to hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), have sparked additional food recalls. First, the pepper. The FDA’s recall notice posted today (it is dated March 25th–from a consumer health standpoint, shouldn’t these notices be going up a little closer in time to the day they occurred)…
Michigan company recalls spice packs that contain contaminated black pepper
The FDA announced Tuesday that, as a result of a recall of using salmonella-contaminated black pepper from Mincing Overseas Spice Company in its products, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution of Farmington Hills, MI is voluntarily recalling Little Caesars Spice Paks. The Spice Paks are small white packets, approximately 1.5” X 2.5” that contain black pepper and other…
Delays in Pepper Recalls Threaten Public Health
From July 2009 through February 2010, at least 252 people were infected by Salmonella as a result of consuming Daniele, Inc. salami products that were manufactured using contaminated pepper. The salami actually contained two kinds of pepper, red and black, both of which may have been contaminated. Daniele purchased the contaminated pepper from two…
Second Salami recall of 2010 issued by Siena Foods LTD
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert tonight due to illnesses possibly associated with ready-to-eat (RTE) deli meat products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
The products subject to the recall were produced by Siena Foods LTD, a Toronto, Ontario, establishment. Recalled products include, but are…
Black pepper recall grows
The FDA announced yesterday that yet another company is recalling black pepper products as a result of Salmonella contamination. This recall is related to the Mincing Overseas Spice Company recall that occurred on the heels of a major salmonella outbreak linked to Salami products manufactured and sold by Daniele Inc.
The FDA announcement reads as…
Mincing Overseas black pepper added to salami/pepper recall (correction to earlier blog post)
We have been following the large outbreak and recall linked to Daniele Inc. salami products since the middle of January. The outbreak began in July 2009, but was not discovered until January 2010. Two strains of Salmonella–Montevideo and Senftenberg–are known to have been involved. The recall began on January 23, 2010, with Daniele’s recall of…
Update on Daniele salami/pepper Salmonella outbreak
Yesterday, the CDC updated the case count in the Salmonella outbreak linked to recalled salami from Daniele Inc., red pepper from Wholesome Spice, and likely black pepper as well. A total of 245 people are now counted by the CDC as cases in this outbreak, coming from 44 states and the District of Columbia. But this…
Spices: emerging threat or clear and present danger?
Over the last several years, there have been multiple outbreaks linked to, and recalls of, various kinds of spices. From white pepper, to red pepper, to black pepper and beyond, spices are a potentially ideal vehicle for the transmission of foodborne disease. More and more people are becoming ill from contaminated spices, and more and more recalls are occurring. So is this problem merely an emerging threat? Or is it a problem that food producers must confront here and now, finding ways to better ensure the safety of the consumers they profit from.
Spice outbreaks in recent history:
1. Veggie Booty
In May 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began a multi-state investigation in response to an increase in laboratory reports, first posted on PulseNet on April 2, 2007, of Salmonella Wandsworth. Salmonella Wandsworth is a very rare serotype that was never before implicated in a U.S. outbreak. As of September 6, 2007, there were 69 reported cases of Salmonella Wandsworth in 23 states and 14 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium in six states who became ill after consuming Veggie Booty, a puffed vegetable snack food with a raw, dried vegetable coating. A total of 61 bags of Veggie Booty were ultimately tested in twelve states. Salmonella was isolated from thirteen of them. Eleven of the thirteen bags were positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella Wandsworth, and one bag was positive for Salmonella Typhimurium and Enterobacter sakazakii. One bag also tested positive for Salmonella Kentucky, and Salmonella Haifa and Saintpaul were isolated from other bags.
The Union International Food outbreak sickened more than 79 people in Western states between December 2008 and April 2009; the majority of the illnesses were in California. Public health officials traced the outbreak to white pepper manufactured by Union International and sold under the brand names Uncle Chen and Lian How. Ultimately the company recalled more than 50 products, including spices, oils, and sauces, due to potential contamination with Salmonella.
3. Wholesome Spice Company and Overseas Spice
This outbreak and recall is, of course, still going on. According to the CDC just days ago, 238 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Montevideo, which displays either of two closely related pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns, have been reported from 44 states and District of Columbia since July 1, 2009. Epidemiological investigation showed that these 238 sick people all ate Daniele Inc salami products contaminated by salmonella. Daniele used salmonella-contaminated pepper in the production of the various kinds of recalled salami.
4. Today’s recall of Johnny’s brand French dip au jus powder?
Will the Johnny’s recall, announced today out of Tacoma, Washington, be another recall or outbreak to add to this list? The ingredient list for the recalled prodcut states that it contains: ‘MSG, Wheat, Soy & Milk; Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (corn, soy, wheat), yeast extract, salt, rice flour, monosodium glutamate, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soy & cottonseed), caramel color, whey solids, non-fat milk solids, mono & diglycerides." Only time will tell, hopefully, what happened at Johnny’s to prompt today’s recall. Spices? Certainly possible.
The historical trend:
These kinds of events naturally prompt the question why are we suddenly seeing outbreaks and recalls linked to pepper and other spices. Is this truly a new phenomenon; a new species of failure by food importers and producers?
Continue Reading Spices: emerging threat or clear and present danger?