The product comes in 12.7-ounce plastic jars with a best-before date of March 2017 and UPC code: 096619164998. The lot numbers are OT 065099, OT 065169, OT 065254, OT 065255, OT 065256, and OT 065284.
The pepper was sold exclusively at Costco Wholesale Clubs nationwide between April 4, 2014, and June 4, 2014, and the store used automated calls to warn 130,000-140,000 members of the issue on Thursday.
NBC reports that Food and Drug Administration officials detected Salmonella Duisburg in some samples of the product in Texas.
Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses.
Salmonella Duisburg is a rare serotype of the pathogen. Only 21 cases of laboratory-confirmed infections were reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2000 and 2010.
There have been several large-scale Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. in recent years that were associated with contaminated spices. This prompted FDA to launch a major investigation into spice safety, and a study released in June 2013 found that nearly 7 percent of imported spices — which account for more than 80 percent of the U.S. supply — were contaminated with Salmonella.
When FDA released a draft of its spice risk profile last October, the agency stated that, “People’s tendency to eat small amounts of spices with meals generally lowers the probability of illness from contaminated spices relative to similarly contaminated foods consumed in larger amounts.”
Related illnesses could also be underreported because it can be difficult to make the connection in multi-ingredient foods.© Food Safety News