Are Spices Safe?

A new study from FDA showed that 12 percent of imported spices contain insect parts, animal hair, and possibly unsafe pathogens.

Before sprinkling some tarragon, saffron, or cumin into your next home-cooked meal, beware: Last week, the FDA found that 12 percent of imported spices are contaminated. With what, you ask? Insect parts, rodent hairs, full insects and other "things," according to The New York Times.

The agency reported that its findings "suggest that the presence of pathogens, such as Salmonella, and filth in spices is a systemic challenge. Failures identified in the farm-to-table food safety system potentially leading to adulteration of consumed spice generally arose from poor/inconsistent application of appropriate preventive controls. The study identified 14 spice/seasoning-associated outbreaks worldwide that occurred from 1973 to 2010, resulting in less than 2,000 reported human illnesses and 128 hospitalizations worldwide.

FDA did the study as part of a larger effort to look at the safety of spices, a project it has been involved with for years. The inspectors found that some spices considered safe from being treated were still contaminated when tested. They also found the problem is difficult to eradicate because heating something up (which can kill salmonella) will not kill certain types of harmful bacteria that come from insects or rodents. Spice-related illnesses are also underreported, because many people don't recall "saffron" when asked what they think made them sick; they remember chicken, beef, eggs, etc.

Certain spice producers stand by their products, ensuring that they are safe despite FDA's findings. 

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping there are always questions regarding the requirements and in and outs. IndustrySafe is here to help. We put together this page with critical information to help answer your key questions about OSHA recordkeeping.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We put together a guide that’s easy to digest so you can ensure you're complying with OSHA's training standards.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus