Black Pepper Eyed in Salmonella OutbreakJan 26, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
A Salmonella outbreak in 39 states may be linked to black pepper used on some ready-to-eat Italian sausage products.
Over the weekend, Daniele International recalled 1.24 million pounds of ready-to-eat Italian sausage products because of concerns they were linked to the outbreak. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Salmonella outbreak began in July, and has so far sickened more than 180 people. Out of 133 cases with available information, about a quarter were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
A connection between the sausage products and the outbreak has not yet been confirmed, but at least 11 of the victims in the outbreak reported eating salami products from the “Daniele Italian Brand Gourmet Pack.” The strain of Salmonella – Montevideo – involved in the outbreak has not been found in any Daniele product, but a sample of product found in commerce was tested and found to contain what appears to be a different strain of Salmonella.
All of the products recalled over the weekend were made with black pepper, which Daniele believes may be the source of the Salmonella contamination. Salmonella has in the past been found in black pepper, white pepper, red pepper, and paprika. It’s also been found in other dry spices. Black pepper is regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and the agency said it is working closely with Daniele and other public health entities to determine if it is the possible source of contamination. To date there have been no reports of illness associated with black pepper found in other products in the U.S.