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Sausage Maker Says Pepper to Blame for Salmonella Outbreak

Jan 28, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

 Danielle International says black pepper used on some of its recalled Italian sausage products  is the source of contamination behind a Salmonella outbreak, that has sickened nearly 200 people in 40 states.

According to a statement posted on its Web site yesterday, tests of the black pepper it used have confirmed the presence of Salmonella. According to the company, this finding indicates that Salmonella contamination of its products occurred after processing. Daniele did not identify the company that produced the pepper, but said it has changed suppliers.

Over the weekend, Daniele International recalled 1.24 million pounds of ready-to-eat Italian sausage products because of concerns they had some association with the outbreak. Yesterday we reported that DNA fingerprinting conducted by the University of Iowa’s Hygienic Laboratory confirmed that Salmonella from a sample of leftover Daniele International sausage found in one victim’s home matched the same strain as the national outbreak. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said 13 ill persons have been identified who purchased the same type of sliced salami variety pack manufactured by Daniele at different grocery store locations before becoming ill.

According to the CDC, this Salmonella outbreak began in July, and has so far sickened more than 180 people in 40 states. Out of 134 cases with available information 37 have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

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