Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

White and Black Pepper Recall: Salmonella

In a nutshell: I had no idea that spices could be contaminated with salmonella. Three states are recalling various spices in both the retail and wholesale sector. There have been too many recalls this year.

From the FDA press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — March 30, 2009 — Union International Food Co. of Union City, CA is recalling 15-pound and smaller size packages of the Lian How brand spices and Uncle Chen brand white pepper & black pepper (whole and ground) in 5oz. retail containers, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Officials investigating a multi-state Salmonella outbreak isolated Salmonella from an open container of Lian How White Pepper, which was found at a restaurant where some outbreak victims ate.  Union International Food Co. is making every possible effort to protect our customers and the consuming public. We have discussed the matter with the California Department of Public Health and agreed to initiate a recall.

The Lian How brand spices are distributed in the states of California, Oregon and Washington to wholesalers, distributors, restaurant suppliers and restaurants.  The Lian How brand products are packaged in 10 or 15 lbs. boxes with plastic liners, 5-pound plastic jars or 5-pound plastic bags (and 2.2 pound foil bags of Wasabi powder).  The Lian How brand products are not generally sold directly to the retail consumer. 

The Uncle Chen brand white & black pepper products (whole or ground) are sold at retail in 5oz. containers.  Only the products on the attached list are included in this recall.

Union International Foods Company has ceased the production and distribution of these products as the FDA, California Department of Public Health and Union International Foods Co. continue the investigation as to nature and full extent of this potential contamination. 

Wholesalers & distributors of these products are instructed to immediately place the recalled merchandise on hold and immediately withdraw any product from sale or distribution. Wholesalers and distributors must immediately alert their customers of the recall and arrange for the return to Union International Foods Co. of the recalled goods. Contact your usual Union International Foods Co. representative to arrange for return of the recalled goods.  End users and consumers are instructed to immediately suspend use of the products in their possession and either return them to the place of purchase for a full refund or dispose of them in the trash. 

For updated information or questions about the ongoing investigation, contact the Union International Food Company information line at 510-471-6799 or our website.  Union International Food Co., 33035 Transit Avenue, Union City, CA 94587.

Brand Name?Lian How Brand
 BOX
 Plastic
JAR
 Plastic
BAG
 
????
 PAPRIKA
 10 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 10 × 5 LB
 
????
 CAYENNE
 10 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 10 × 5 LB
 
???
 CHOPPED GARLIC
 15 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 
 
???
 MINCED GARLIC
 15 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 
 
???
 GRANULE GARLIC
 15 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 10 × 5 LB
 
???
 GARLIC POWDER
 15 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 10 × 5 LB
 
???
 CHOPPED ONION
 
 6 × 4 LB
 
 
???
 ONION POWDER
 
 6 × 5 LB
 
 
????
 WHOLE WHITE PEPPER
 10 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 10 × 5 LB
 
????
 GROUND WHITE PEPPER
 10 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 10 × 5 LB
 
????
 WHOLE BLACK PEPPER
 
 6 × 5 LB
 
 
????
 GROUND BLACK PEPPER
 10 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 10 × 5 LB
 
???
 CURRY POWDER
 10 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 10 × 5 LB
 
???
 MUSTARD POWDER
 10 LB
 6 × 5 LB
 10 × 5 LB
 
?????
 WASABI POWDER
 
 
 10 × 2.2 LB
8 × 5 LB
 
Brand Name?Uncle Chen brand
 BOX
 Plastic
JAR
 Plastic
BAG
 
????
 WHOLE WHITE PEPPER
 
 24×5 OZ.
 
 
????
 GROUND WHITE PEPPER
 
 24×5 OZ.
 
 
????
 WHOLE BLACK PEPPER
 
 24×5 OZ.
 
 
????
 GROUND BLACK PEPPER
 
 24×5 OZ.

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