200 Indian firms exporting spices under USFDA scanner

Mumbai, September 3, 2013: USFDA has put nearly 200 Indian firms in the red list for exporting Salmonella-contaminated spices and other food products to USA. These products were exported from India between 2009 and 2013.

According to the FDA red-list import alert, the contaminated spices include capsicum, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, celery, basil and pepper. Salmonella germs are said to have been behind many food poisoning outbreaks in the US. Consuming food contaminated with Salmonella may lead to diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps. Fish, beef, poultry, milk, eggs and vegetables along with spices are some of the foods which can get Salmonella contamination.

Amid growing concerns about Salmonella, the FDA initiated a research to characterize the prevalence of Salmonella in imported spices. The study, whose findings are yet to be fully disclosed to the public, focussed on over 20,000 food shipments that arrived in the US between 2007 and 2009 and found that around 7% of spices were contaminated with Salmonella.

Spices from India were found to be the second-most contaminated after Mexico in this study, based on which the FDA is likely to initiate necessary remedial and precautionary actions.

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