A New York-based spice company whose pepper was pinpointed as the source of a 2009-10 Salmonella outbreak owes $33 million to the salami maker that had to recall 1.4 million pounds of meat products because they were made with the contaminated spices, ruled a judge Monday.
In March of 2010, salami and other ready-to-eat meats produced by Rhode Island-based Daniele International, Inc. were linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo that eventually sickened 272 people in 14 states. The company was obligated to recall the implicated products, which turned out to have been contaminated by red and black pepper — manufactured by Brooklyn, NY-based Wholesome Spice, Inc. — that was used to coat some of its meat products.
Daniele filed a suit against Wholesome Spice in April of 2010, but the spice company never responded.
Wholesome Spice dissolved in April of this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Due to Wholesome’s failure to respond to the suit, U.S. District Court Judge William Smith granted Daniele’s request for a default judgment, requiring the spice company to pay Daniele $33 million in damages, reported the Wall Street Journal.
However, because Wholesome is no longer in operation, Daniele may not receive the payment it’s owed, said a lawyer for the meat company.© Food Safety News