The latest event in the nationwide Salmonella outbreak traced to the consumption of contaminated salami is the recall of crushed red pepper by Brooklyn, NY-based Wholesome Spice.
As the investigation enters it second month, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta’s latest update shows 238 have been infected with a matching strain of Salmonella Montevideo in at least 44 states and the District of Columbia.
It’s been more than a month since Rhode Island-based Daniele Inc. recalled 1.4 million pounds of ready-to-eat meats including Italian-style salami associated with the outbreak.
Wholesome Spice sold pepper to Daniele that was used in the meat products.
The company recalled all lots of 25- pound boxes of crushed red pepper it sold between April 6, 2009 and January 20, 2010 for potential Salmonella contamination. Wholesome Spices did not sell any of the boxes for retail use. Like Daniele Inc., their other commercial customers were in the Northeast. Those customers in turn use the pepper in making their products.
The crushed red pepper was packaged in clear plastic bags inside cardboard boxes with adhesive while labels with blue borders and blue and black lettering. The brand name on the product labels is WHOLESOME SPICES. The product name is listed as CRUSHED RED PEPPER.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating both black and red pepper used in manufacturing the recalled meat. FDA Friday said it has collected and analyzed 153 composite pepper samples from 4,000 individual samples.
Two lots of crushed red pepper FDA collected from Daniele Inc. tested positive for Salmonella. FDA is doing additional testing to see if the type of Salmonella from the samples matches the outbreak strain.
Wholesome Spice says it is cooperating with FDA and other investigating agencies.
Manufacturers who have purchased 25 lb boxes of WHOLESOME SPICES brand Crushed Red Pepper are urged not to use the product and to recall any product they further distributed. Manufacturers with questions may contact the firm via telephone at (718) 388-1549. Hours of operation are from Monday to Friday 8:30-4:30pm Eastern Standard Time.
Mincing Overseas Spice Co., based in New Jersey, also supplied pepper to Daniele, but as yet has not been involved in any recall.