Stirrings, LLC Issues Recall For Cocktail Garnish Due to Salmonella Contamination

A cocktail garnish sold by Stirrings, LLC of Fall River, Massachusetts is being recalled because it could be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced the voluntary recall of Rimmer Brand Mojito Cocktail Garnish today. One ingredient used in the powdered garnish has tested positive for the food-borne bacteria.

Stirrings is recalling 3.5 ounce tins of its Rimmer Brand Mojito Cocktail Garnish with the UPC code 80999 00046. All of the recalled garnishes have best buy dates of 10/27/08, 10/30/08, 11/23/08, 12/01/08, 12/04/08 or 01/03/09 printed on the side of the tin. Anyone who bought this product should return it to the store where it was purchased for a refund. The cocktail garnish was sold nationwide through distributors, retail stores, the internet and cocktail establishments.

Stirrings said that tests of the finished Rimmer Brand Mojito Cocktail Garnish did not reveal the presence of <"">Salmonella. However, the company was informed by its supplier, Van de Vries Spice, that a parsley powder used in the garnish had tested positive for Salmonella. Stirrings said that the parsley powder was used as a colorant in the cocktail garnish, and represented less than one half of one percent of the blend. Stirrings said that it is no longer using the Van de Vries parsley powder in its cocktail garnish.

Van de Vries, formerly known as Atlantic Quality Spice, had also supplied a Salmonella-tainted spice mix to Roger’s American Gourmet, the maker of Veggie Booty Snack Mix. Veggie Booty was implicated in an outbreak of Salmonella poisoning this summer that sickened 100 people, most of them children. There is no word if the strain of Salmonella found in the cocktail garnish was the same strain that was involved in the Veggie Booty outbreak.

Salmonella is a dangerous form of food poisoning, symptoms of which include fever, abdominal pain, nausea, gas and bloody diarrhea. In very severe cases, Salmonella can lead to kidney failure and other complications. Salmonella can be especially serious for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Some victims of Salmonella will develop a disease called Reiter’s Syndrome, a difficult- to- treat condition that causes severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, painful urination, and chronic arthritis.

The Rimmer Brand Mojito Cocktail Garnish recall is the second Salmonella-related recall this week, and it is one of several such actions taken by food processors this year. Just yesterday, California grower Metz Fresh, LLC recalled bagged fresh spinach after discovering it was contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. And 66 people across the country became ill over an 18-month period after being exposed to Salmonella-tainted dry dog food sold by Mars Petcare US. In February, an outbreak of Salmonella that sickened more than 600 people was traced to Great Value and Peter Pan Peanut Butter manufactured by ConAgra Foods. The seemingly endless parade of food poisoning recalls has prompted many consumer advocates to demand stronger policing and inspection of food processors, factories, and imports by the FDA

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