USDA Food Safety Report Shows Imported Spices Contain Fecal Matter, Salmonella, Insects
A new analysis on food safety from the US Food and Drug Administration, released on Wednesday, October 30th, shows that about 12% of spices imported to the United States are contaminated with insects, rodent hairs, feathers, or food-borne pathogens like salmonella.
With the exception of dried onion, and some garlic, mustard seeds, and capsicum, most of the US spice supply is imported. According to the FDA, 86% of US households use fresh or dried herbs, spices, and seasonings. The study looked at many spices, the bulk of which are imported from Mexico, India, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Microbial pathogens like salmonella were found in about 7% of imported spices, according to the report. Between 1973 and 2010, the FDA found 14 food-borne illnesses like salmonella linked to spices, which led to outbreaks. Overall, such food-borne outbreaks lead to 1,946 illnesses and 2 deaths.
The FDA stated that applying untreated spices to food after cooking was the top cause of food-related illness outbreaks like listeria and salmonella. Safely cooking food containing spices can kill pathogens. However, the FDA also said that some spices are still contaminated, and that the “filth” from insects and rodents cannot be resolved through cooking or heating spices. Insects can be a source of salmonella contamination.
The FDA and USDA did state that they have detailed industry guidelines to prevent and treat contamination with “pathogens or filth,” including salmonella, listeria, botulism, or cyclospora. Spice manufacturers have often said in the past that they treat imported spices before marketing them, so spices are as safe as possible before they are sold in the United States. The FDA guidelines reflect up-to-date scientific knowledge about how to prevent and treat food-borne illnesses.
Defective Production Can Lead to Food-Borne Illnesses Like Salmonella
Every year, thousands of consumers catch serious illnesses from food-borne pathogens, including salmonella, listeria, and E. coli. Unsafe manufacturing techniques, poorly-cleaned processing equipment, unwashed hands, imported foods, and cross-contamination have all led to food recalls of products in the last several years. Sometimes, the food recall comes too late, and consumers because perilously ill, and even die, because of food-borne pathogens.
Consumers that have been harmed by defective products such as food, drugs, medical devices, or other products, may be eligible to receive legal remedies. Such legal remedies, or damages, may include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of physical capacity, pain, suffering, and mental anguish. Punitive damages are also available in many jurisdictions to punish defendants in those cases involving particularly egregious conduct which demonstrates a reckless or wanton disregard for the safety of the public.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury Cases Related to Salmonella, e. Coli, Listeria, Food-Borne Illnesses
Many manufacturers do their best to produce high-quality food, medical, and recreational equipment. However, some companies do not pay close enough attention to the manufacturing process, and can release products on the market that cause great personal injury. While the FDA and USDA issue product and food recalls on a regular basis, they do not always catch defects in time to prevent consumers from coming to harm, especially in food-borne outbreaks such as listeria, e. Coli, and salmonella. It is important to hold manufacturers to a higher standard, and a defective products lawyer can help when a food recall has not been issued in time. The Columbia, South Carolina-based attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are licensed to practice in South Carolina, Georgia, and New York, to help you with your personal injury or defective product claim. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today for help. 803.252.4800.