Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Costco Black Pepper Recalled for Possible Salmonella Contamination

On Friday, Olde Thompson Inc. of Oxnard, CA, issued a recall of its Kirkland Signature Coarse Ground Malabar Pepper due to potential Salmonella contamination.

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
  • Agent99

    So if mine has the same upc but I bought it a year ago is it recalled?

    • Kaitlyn Choate

      no. The contaminated pepper was only sold between April 4th and June 4th 2014.

  • Michelle

    We keep getting diarrhea at my house. We blamed eggs milk cheese mold ! It’s the stupid Black Pepper! I want to sue!! I missed work, was late to work and lost days of my life because of stomach problems! I am so up set!!! My mom is a Senior she has the same stomach issues ! Unbelievable!

  • tsh85

    I was at Costco last month, and so upset because I forgot to buy my Malabar Pepper. Now I am so glad that I left without it. I guess everything happens for a reason?

  • Daniel

    Where do you find the lot number? We have some we just bought about three weeks ago and just opened yesterdAy.

    • SDDan81

      It’s on the back, towards the bottom in pinkish ink on the plastic itself, not the label, it isbarely visible. I bought 1 last week and it’s the first Lot # listed in the article.

  • Davey Cee

    Michelle… what’s with you Yanks??? Always want to sue… give it a rest! It’s prolly the crap food you guys eat all the time. lol

  • Julia

    Hello. I am very worried. I am pregnant and I know that salmonella can be a serious problem for the kid. I don’t remember when I bought this paper. On the jar is written best before 12/2016 OT064029. Is costco sure that this pAper is good?

  • Furbabys Tails

    We have been using that Pepper for 2 months. Thankfully we use small amounts but salmonella is not something any one wants to have. Costco never contacted us nor sent any mail regarding that recall and they know by your members card what customers have purchased.

  • Tap Can Binh – Beijing

    I got one right on the numbers recalled . But already used over half …can I sued Costco make some money ? Hu hu hu

  • Valerie McCormick

    I purchased the fine ground Malabar Pepper, UPC #96619164981 expiring 07/2015. Has it been checked for Samonella?

  • Rajdeep

    Is it still safe to eat?