Red Pepper Recalled, May Be Associated With Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak

Wholesome Spice of Brooklyn, New York is recalling all lots of its 25-pound boxes of <"">Crushed Red Pepper sold between April 6, 2009 and January 20, 2010, due to a potential Salmonella contamination, announced the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The 25-pound boxes of Crushed Red Pepper were distributed in the Northeastern United States; the product was not sold to consumers at the retail level.

The Crushed Red Pepper product is packaged in a clear plastic bag, which is placed inside of a cardboard box with an adhesive white label with a blue border and blue and black lettering. The brand name on the product labels is WHOLESOME SPICES. The product name is listed as CRUSHED RED PEPPER.

At this point, the FDA stresses that it cannot be determined if the recalled Crushed Red Pepper has been related to any illnesses.

Wholesome Spice was informed that samples of its product tested positive for Salmonella. The firm is currently working with the FDA to determine how the contamination occurred. Meanwhile, manufacturers who have purchased 25-pound boxes of WHOLESOME SPICES brand Crushed Red Pepper are urged not to use the product and to recall any product they further distributed. Manufacturers with questions may contact the Wholesome Spices via telephone at (718) 388-1549, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

The Associated Press noted that Wholesome Spice is one of the distributors that supplied pepper to Daniele Inc. in Rhode Island. Daniele Inc is the Burriville-based meat company that has made headlines for its recalls of pepper-coated salami over concerns of Salmonella contamination.

Although Daniele International was initially linked to the ongoing nationwide Salmonella outbreak, the Salmonella pathogen was found in some sealed containers of red pepper it received from two suppliers, said the Washington Post. Now, the concern is that other food makers could have used the Salmonella-laced spices. The AP confirmed that health officials have said the contamination originated externally to Daniele International.

Recent figures indicated that a total of 44 states are involved in the outbreak that has sickened 230 and landed about 26 percent of those who fell ill in the hospital, said the Washington Post.

Most recently, Daniele recalled 115,000 pounds of salami/salame products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Daniele implemented two prior recalls; all three were categorized as Class I recalls by the FSIS, which means there existed a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable probability that use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.

On January 10, Daniele International recalled 1.2 million pounds of ready-to-eat salami; that recall was expanded to include another 23,754 pounds of salami products on February 4, said the Post. Daniele International Inc. has operations in Pascoag and Mapleville, Rhode Island.

So far, according to the SunTimes, a Chicago man filed a lawsuit against Daniele International and Mincing Overseas Trading Company claiming he was sick for “almost a month” after coming in contact with Salmonella-tainted pepper used in a salami product. Another family filed a lawsuit against Daniele International last month claiming a three-month-old boy fell ill after eating its pepper-coated salami, said the SunTimes.

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