Black Pepper Recall Issued due to Salami Food Poisoning Cases

As a result of the investigation into a food poisoning outbreak linked to peppered salami, which has sickened 245 people nationwide, a recall has been issued for red and black pepper from two different spice companies.

The pepper recalls, announced on Friday by the FDA, affect black pepper sold by the Mincing Overseas Spice Company and red and black pepper distributed by the Wholesome Spice Company.

The FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo food poisoning linked to salami and other pepper-coated meats sold by Daniele Internationale Inc., of Rhode Island. A salami recall was issued for a number of Daniele Internationale products in January.

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Both the Mincing Overseas Spice Company of Brooklyn, NY, and the Wholesome Spice Company of Dayton, NJ, are wholesale spice suppliers who do not sell pepper directly to customers. Both sold pepper to Daniele Internationale, which federal investigators say has tested as positive for the same strain of salmonella bacteria that has sickened 245 people in 44 states.

Salmonella Montevideo infection can cause symptoms such as abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and fever. While symptoms tend to resolve within a few days or weeks for most healthy adults, the elderly, young children and those with weakened immune systems may be more susceptible to severe, and potentially life-threatening, infections.

The recall affects two lots of black pepper from Mincing Overseas Spice Company sold in 50, 25, and 20-pound cartons. The company’s name is in the side of the cartons and the lot numbers are 3258 and 3309. The recalled black pepper was shipped to Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin.

Wholesome Spice Company has recalled ground red pepper and whole black pepper sold specifically to Daniele International, and on February 25 recalled crushed red pepper sold from April 6, 2009 through January 20, 2010 in 25-pound boxes.

At least two Salmonella salami lawsuits have already been filed against Daniele International over sicknesses caused by the tainted meat.

Customers who received the recalled black pepper should stop using the pepper immediately and contact the supplier and an FDA recall coordinator to determine whether a sub recall of their products is needed.

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