Contaminated spices are a serious issue among imports, and the FDA has found contamination in 12 percent of all spice imports. The Los Angeles Times reports on Oct. 30 that the contamination can range from rubber bands to insects. However, the danger of salmonella remains, and other issues are also possible.
The Food and Drug Administration reveals that spices that are imported from other parts of the world may have problems. There are ongoing reports of animal excrement found in the products along with other issues of contamination. The FDA believes that imported spices may be more likely to have salmonella based on test results.
The FDA has found that 749 imported spice shipments had to be rejected due to salmonella over the course of three years. More than 200 other shipments had to be rejected because of visible contamination such as insects. Often, storage of the spices is an issue as bugs and rodents easily find their way into the containers and can increase the risk of disease.
Despite the large presence of salmonella among imported spices, the Food and Drug Administration notes that more people do not get sick because they use the spices in limited quantities. Cooking may also reduce some of the risks. The administration has been hesitant to recommend that consumers avoid imported spices since many will simply ignore the advice. Instead, it suggests cooking all meals thoroughly and paying attention to recalls.