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FDA Says 7 Percent Of Imported Spices Contain Salmonella

imported spices

Image source: FoxNews.com

The spices in your kitchen cabinet could make your family very sick.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has discovered that imported spices were twice as likely to be contaminated with salmonella bacteria as other kinds of food.

The agency’s scientists found that 7 percent of the spices [1] imported between 2007 and 2010 were contaminated with more than 80 different strains of salmonella [2], ABC News reported.

Filth in spices

“The agency’s findings suggest that the presence of pathogens, such as salmonella, and filth in spices is a systematic challenge,” the FDA [3] noted. FDA researchers also discovered filth, including insect parts, in spices.

Some of the FDA’s disturbing findings about imported spices included:

The Danger from Salmonella

Salmonella bacteria can cause a type of food poisoning called salmonellosis [4]. The disease is most likely to afflict older people, children and people with impaired immune systems.

Directory of herbs and spices helps you grow these flavor-enhancing foods [5]

Symptoms include diarrhea, dehydration, fever and cramps. In some cases these symptoms are so severe that they require hospitalization. Persons with other health problems can develop serious illness or die because of salmonellosis.

A small number of people develop a problem called Reiter’s Syndrome [6] from salmonellosis. Reiter’s Syndrome causes inflammation and pain and in some cases it can lead to chronic arthritis.

Obama wants to expand food imports from Asia

The contaminated spices underscore the potential danger to America’s food supply from a proposed trade deal [7] between the United States and several Pacific Rim nations. Vietnam is one of the sources of salmonella-contaminated spices and is among the nations included in the deal.

Critics have charged that the Transpacific Partnership deal would severely limit the US government’s ability to regulate and inspect food imports from countries that sign it. The argument is that the deal would force the United States to adhere to the standards set by its trading partners rather than those mandated by American law.

Imported spices would have to meet the standards in their country of origin rather than U.S. standards. The FDA would not be able to turn away contaminated shipments of spices from Vietnam that met Vietnamese standards, critics of the deal say.

How to Protect Your Family

Fortunately there are a few steps that you can take to protect your family from contaminated spices. These steps include:

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