WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration said black pepper samples collected by the Rhode Island Department of Health may be linked to a foodborne illness outbreak caused by Salmonella Montevideo. Samples of black pepper taken by the Department of Health tested positive, with one sample taken from an open container matching the outbreak strain.
On Jan. 23, Daniele International Inc., a Rhode Island-based meat processor recalled more than a million lbs of ready-to-eat, Italian-style meat products. It was at the Daniele International facility where the Department of Health tested the black pepper and identified the Salmonella.
The F.D.A. said it is in the process of investigating the supply chain of the black pepper used in the manufacturing of the recalled meat products to evaluate if there is further risk associated with products. The agency also is collecting and analyzing sample of black pepper from both domestic and international sources.
The remaining supply of pepper testing positive for Salmonella has been voluntarily placed on hold by both of Daniele’s distributors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 207 people have been infected with a matching strain of Salmonella Montevideo in at least 42 states and the District of Columbia. No deaths have been linked the outbreak.