Salmonella Spice Warning Expanded AgainApr 16, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP The ongoing, multi-state salmonella outbreak that originated with one spice and was recently expanded to include additional spices has been expanded yet again. CBS2.com reports that the growing salmonella warning now includes over 50 sauces and oils that were manufactured by the Union International Food Company (UIFC). According to the California Department of Public Health, said CBS2, the food products were manufactured at a contaminated facility.
California Department of Public Health director, Dr. Mark Horton, said that pepper products from the contaminated facility have been linked to the outbreak that has, to date, caused 57 people in four states to fall ill with salmonella, said CBS2. The expanded recall now includes sauce and oil products manufactured under the Lian How and Uncle Chen brand names that are packaged in a variety of glass and plastic containers. The words "Packed by Union International Foods" or "Union International Foods" appear after the brand name, said CBS2.
Meanwhile, impacted by the recall, EDS Wrap and Roll Foods LLC was forced to recall over six tons of its chicken egg rolls because the egg rolls contained black pepper spice likely linked to the recalled spice products made by UIFC. UIFC issued recalls on several varieties of its white and black pepper, as well as other spices as a precaution. Banned Foods said in a report earlier this month that the recalled EDS Wrap and Roll frozen chicken egg rolls were sold to restaurants in California.
In a prior report, KTVN in Nevada said that health officials had warned consumers to avoid eating ground white pepper that was processed, packaged, and/or distributed by UIFC in Union City, California. According to KCRA in California, the warning was later expanded to include white and black pepper products from the company’s Union City facility in the Bay Area. In total, four varieties of pepper were included in the recall: Whole and ground Uncle Chen’s White Pepper and whole and ground Uncle Chen’s Black Pepper. All four products are packaged in five-ounce containers. Restaurant and food store managers, restaurant suppliers, and spice wholesalers are being asked to check their inventories and remove this product immediately, said KTVN.
UIFC’s pepper products were linked to the multi-state outbreak of salmonella poisoning following the discovery of the pathogen in food samples collected from restaurants and food distributors. Illnesses have been reported in Nevada, California, Oregon, and Washington State, with a number of patients requiring hospitalization.
Salmonella can cause serious, sometimes fatal salmonellosis infections in young children; weak or elderly people; and those with weakened immune systems, such as patients undergoing chemotherapy or diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Healthy people may experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, if infected. Without treatment, severe cases of salmonella poisoning can result in arterial infections—such as infected aneurysms—endocarditis, arthritis, and death; however, some salmonella bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, largely due to the use of antibiotics to promote the growth of feed animals.