F.D.A. updates pepper recall probe

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two additional companies have initiated recalls related to the Food and Drug Administration’s investigation into the source of a Salmonella outbreak that has been traced to black and red pepper as potential sources of contamination. Dutch Valley Food Distributors, Inc., Myerstown, Pa., is recalling a variety of seasonings and dip mixes sold under the Bulk Foods, Inc. brand. In addition, the Frontier Natural Co-Op, Norway, Iowa, is recalling several products manufactured with non-organic black pepper that were sold under the Frontier and Whole Foods Market brands.

As the F.D.A. continues its investigation into the Salmonella Montevideo contamination discovered at Daniele International, Inc., Pascoag, R.I., it has continued to target pepper, both black and red, as a potential source. As a result of the investigation, Mincing Overseas Spice Co., Dayton, N.J., and Wholesome Spice Company, Brooklyn, N.Y., have initiated recalls of black pepper and red pepper products.

Samples collected at Daniele International, Inc. have linked crushed red pepper supplied by the Wholesome Spice Co. to the outbreak strain of Salmonella Montevideo. Test results of ground black pepper and whole black pepper supplied by Wholesome Spice, as well as black pepper supplied by Mincing Overseas are still pending, according to the F.D.A.

To date, 249 people in 44 states and the District of Columbia have become ill due to food product contamination related to the outbreak strain of Salmonella Montevideo.

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