Bulk red pepper recalled on salmonella fears

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food and drug administration

Wholesome Spice has issued a recall of 25-pound boxes of crushed red pepper, after salmonella was found in the ingredient at Daniele International, the salami manufacturer linked to a salmonella outbreak.

Although black pepper at the Rhode Island-based salami company had already been under suspicion, red pepper had not been implicated as a possible source of the salmonella contamination until two weeks ago. At that time, salmonella was found in an unopened salami product previously unaffected by the recall, following testing by the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service as well as Daniele International itself.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said it has recorded 238 illnesses across 44 states and the District of Columbia as a result of the strain linked to Daniele’s salami products, but because it is a common strain, “public health investigators may determine that some of the illnesses are not part of this outbreak.”

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Rhode Island health authorities have now confirmed they found salmonella in two lots of crushed red pepper from Wholesome Spice at Daniele’s facility. The recalled red pepper was sold to food manufacturers in the Northeastern United States from April 6, 2009 to January 20, 2010. More information can be found here​.

The FDA said in a statement: “Wholesome Spice sells spices directly to commercial customers, who may have incorporated them into their own products. FDA is currently working with Wholesome Spice to identify the customers who received the recalled product and determine if further recalls are necessary.”

The FDA is currently investigating 153 composite pepper samples, representing more than 4,000 individual samples of both black and red pepper.

Meanwhile, Daniele has said that it has switched suppliers and is now only buying spices that have been irradiated to eliminate bacteria, including salmonella.

The FDA has said that it is working with Wholesome Spice in an effort to determine the source of the salmonella contamination.

A full list of recalled salami products can be found here​.

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