FDA announces recall of dry spices after salmonella reports. One April 4th, The Dow Jones Newswires reported, "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Union International Food Co.’s dry spice products were being recalled as part of an ongoing salmonella probe." The company’s dry spices "were sold primarily to restaurants, wholesalers and retail outlets under its brand names Lian How and Uncle Chen." The FDA "advised that consumers dispose of the dry spices and urged retail outlets, restaurants and other purchasers to stop using the products."
In an unusual step the FDA is approaching Asian restaurants directly. The Oregonian newspaper reported, "The Food and Drug Administration was scrambling Thursday, taking the unusual step of warning restaurant and food industry professionals directly about a salmonella outbreak linked to white pepper in Oregon and three other Western states." Although the FDA normally "relies on news releases, local agencies and the industry to get tainted food off the market," this time it is "making a direct appeal." The latest outbreak "highlights another loophole in the food safety network in the U.S." One spice that tested positive for salmonella "was imported as peppercorns from Vietnam and then ground, packaged and distributed by Union International Food to distributors and manufacturers in the West."
Despite four outbreaks of salmonella illness from peanut products in the past three years, the federal government has not changed the safety measures required of peanut companies or instructed its inspectors to test for the bacteria." The lack of reform persisted "even after Congress and President Obama sharply criticized the FDA for oversight failures," and after the FDA "discovered about 20 additional facilities that have been making peanut products without the knowledge of federal regulators." Currently, the Post reports, there are "about half a dozen food safety reform bills…pending on Capitol Hill."
Part of the fun about vacationing on the Outer Banks is enjoying all the fine dining and fresh seafood at all the many great restaurants. Although most establishments are aware of recent recalls with regards to the types of food due to salmonella, it probably is still a good precaution to update yourself prior to eating out and order foods accordingly.
Salmonella is a serious illness and can cause great harm and injury to your digestive tract and quite possibly even death. It can be transmitted by humans to animals and vice versa. Infection by Salmonella via food is also possible. Sources of infection are:
* Unclean foodstuffs, particularly in institutional kitchens and restaurants
* Excretions from either sick or infected but apparently clinically healthy people
and animals (especially endangered are caregivers and animals)
* Polluted surface water and standing water (such as in shower hoses or unused water dispensers)
* Un-hygienically thawed fowl (the melt water contains many bacteria)
* Raw eggs from Salmonella-infected fowl (the Salmonella can be on the eggshell as well as in the egg mass).
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