Retail Spices Recalled in Salmonella Scare

Whole Foods, Frontier Brand Spices Recalled as Salmonella Outbreak Expands

By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

March 11, 2010 -- Some Whole Foods and Frontier Natural Products spices have been recalled due to possible salmonella contamination of pepper included in the products.

Salmonella contamination of salami products that sickened over 249 people in 44 states has been traced to red and black pepper used in the salami. But salami isn't the only product that used the contaminated spices.

After finding salmonella in unopened pepper samples, the FDA has asked manufacturers to recall products that used certain lots of peppers from the Mincing Overseas Spice company and the Wholesome Spice Company.

Those recalls now have worked their way down to spices sold on grocery shelves. The retail products recalled today include certain lots of:

  • Whole Foods Asian Seafood seasoning
  • Whole Foods Mediterranean Rotisserie seasoning
  • Whole Foods Mediterranean Seafood seasoning
  • Whole Foods Muchi Curry
  • Whole Foods Southwestern Grille seasoning
  • Whole Foods Toronto Steak Chicken seasoning
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Black Pepper, coarse and fine grind
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Cajun Blackened Fish Meat Seasoning
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Cracked Black Pepper
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Curry Powder
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Garlic 'n Herb seasoning
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Greek Seasoning
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Muchi Curry
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Oriental Seasoning
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Whole Black Peppercorns
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Salad Sprinkle
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Spaghetti Seasoning
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Thai Seasoning
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Toronto Steak Chicken seasoning
  • Frontier Natural Products Co-op Veggie Pepper

The pepper recalls are not associated with the huge, ongoing recall of products containing salmonella-contaminated hydrogenated vegetable protein (HVP).

The FDA says it began an investigation of the spice industry in the spring of 2009. This "farm-to-table" risk profile "focuses on microbiological contaminants and filth issues related to spices," according to an FDA news release.

Salmonella can cause symptoms of fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare cases the bacteria get into the bloodstream and cause extremely serious infections. But even when this is not the case, salmonella is particularly dangerous for young children, frail or elderly people, or people with immune suppression.

People who get these symptoms after consuming Italian sausage products or any of the other recalled products should immediately seek professional health care.


SOURCES: FDA news releases, March 11, 2010.

CDC news release, March 3, 2010.

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