On February 26, 2016, after a two-year, nationwide study to collect data on the presence of Salmonella in retail spice packages, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an analysis of their findings.
Results of the Salmonella Spice Study
From 2007 to 2009, the FDA found that about 6.6 percent of spice shipments into the U.S. contained Salmonella. This rate is about twice the average prevalence of all other imported, FDA-regulated foods.
This rate of Salmonella, however, is not accurate, because , as the FDA puts it, “many imported spices are treated after entry to the U.S. to reduce contamination before they are sold to consumers, we knew that the 6.6 percent contamination rate found at the import level did not reflect what was actually reaching consumers. We needed retail data to better evaluate the true risk to consumers.”
Spice Shipments Are Adulterated with “Filth”
The study also revealed that about 12 percent of the spice shipments into the U.S. from 2007 to 2009 contained “filth” such as insects and animal hair. The presence of “filth” can result from poor storage and packing conditions.
About Salmonella Food Poisoning
Salmonella is a bacterium capable of causing a serious and sometimes life-threatening infection known as salmonellosis. One of the most common foodborne illnesses, it can occur when food contaminated by Salmonella is consumed.
According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are an estimated 1.2 million cases in the U.S. each year, with approximately 400 of those cases resulting in death. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to suffer severe illness or Salmonella complications.
FDA Action Regarding the Salmonella Spice Study
The FDA has been addressing the risks of foodborne illness from contaminated spices on several fronts, including new rules, under the Food Safety and Modernization Act, to establish preventive controls in the food supply chain, for both domestically produced and imported food.
Contact The Weinberg Law Firm for a Free Salmonella Lawsuit Consultation
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with salmonellosis, are awaiting medical confirmation of Salmonella infection, or have a question regarding your legal rights, you can request a free legal consultation by calling the Weinberg Law Firm toll free at 1-877-934-6274. For over 30 years Attorney Weinberg has represented personal injury victims, obtaining over $800 million on behalf of clients.