The black pepper used to coat the salami products on the 1.24 million pound recall list put out by Rhode Island’s Daniele Inc. have now tested positive for Salmonella, the company says.

The specialty meat company declines to say whom in the wide, wide world of spice supplies its pepper.

black-pepper-featured.jpgThe recalled meat is associated with an outbreak involving at least 189 victims of multiple strains of Salmonella in 40 states.  The Jan. 23 recall is now spreading around the world.

Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety on Jan. 26th ordered stores to stop selling Daniele brand Italian sausage products containing black pepper.  It warned consumers to stop eating the ready-to-eat sausage products.  Canada already took similar action and other countries are sure to follow.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, where the outbreak investigation is headquartered, multiple strains of the Salmonella have been connected to the recall.

“This recall,” CDC explained, “followed isolation of Salmonella in a private laboratory from a retail sample of a salami product produced by Daniele International; this product was different than the sliced salami variety pack purchased at different grocery store locations by the 13 ill persons.

“FSIS (the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service) reviewed and affirmed these private laboratory results. The Salmonella strain initially found by the private laboratory was different from the strains causing the outbreak.

“However, the Washington State Department of Health subsequently tested the bacterial culture provided by the private laboratory (the salami was not provided) and identified two different Salmonella serotypes, the strain found by the private lab and Salmonella Montevideo indistinguishable from the outbreak strain.

“In addition, the Iowa Department of Public Health and public health officials in Plymouth County, Iowa investigated a patient with Salmonella Montevideo infection indistinguishable from the outbreak strain and discovered an open sliced salami variety pack frozen at the patient’s home.

“The patient had eaten this product before becoming ill. This sliced salami variety pack was the same as that purchased by 13 other ill persons.

“Using DNA analysis, the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory (Iowa’s public health laboratory) confirmed that the Salmonella isolated from this leftover salami was indistinguishable from the outbreak strain of Salmonella Montevideo.

“CDC and its public health partners are continuing the epidemiologic investigation to verify that the outbreak is controlled; to identify the specific products or ingredients that became contaminated and how the contamination occurred; and to identify any other food vehicles that may be involved.

“It is possible that more than one food product may be causing illnesses. The investigation is ongoing,” the latest CDC report adds.

Meanwhile, FSIS, which has jurisdiction for meat products, issued a list of retailers that carried the Daniele brand ready-to-eat meats.  Costco, Sam’s Club, and Wal-Mart stores throughout the nation top the list.

Others who sold the recalled meat brands include: Fred Meyer (AK, ID, OR, & WA); Fry’s Food and Drug (AZ); Haggen (OR & WA); Hilander (IL); Kroger (AL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MI, MO, NC, OH, SC, TN, TX, VA, & WV); and Market Basket (MA & NH).

Also retailing the brands were:  Quality Food Center-Fresh Fare (OR & WA); Ralph’s-Ralph’s Fresh Fare (CA); Scott’s (IN); Smith’s-Smith’s Marketplace (AZ, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT, & WV); Stop and Shop (NJ & NY); Top Foods (WA); Waldbaums (NY) and Weis (MD, NJ, NY, & PA).