Contaminated spices have become a big problem. The FDA has stated that a high percentage of imported spices are contaminated. In fact, according to a report from Wednesday (Oct. 30), it is at a rate of 12 percent. That's a really high number, but it is only fully understood when an explanation is given about what the FDA truly considers to be a contaminant.
That 12 percent includes insects, animal excrement, rodent hair, and even rubber bands. This is what happens when the process of bottling it up in other countries isn't watched closely enough. The reason that this study was undertaken is because of recent cases of salmonella that had been reported. It was traced back to the ingredients being used in dishes, which in turn revealed an unacceptable percentage of damaged product coming into the country.
Of that 12 percent that the FDA considered to be contaminated spices, more than half of it contained salmonella. That bacteria alone kills 400 people and sickens about 1.2 million each year in the U.S. Those numbers are why stronger regulations are needed on what other countries are sending to the U.S. for consumption. One statement from the FDA also revealed that there would be more cases if not for the limited amount of each spice that gets used on dishes.
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