The FDA published two reports today for those who want to stop eating, or using spices.
The FDA found that microbial pathogens found in spices include Salmonella, Bacillus spp. (including Bacillus cereus), Clostridium perfringens, Cronobacter spp., Shigella, and Staphylococcus aureus.
Filth adulterants found in spices include insects (live and dead whole insects and insect parts), excrement (animal, bird, and insect), hair (human, rodent, bat, cow, sheep, dog, cat and others), and other materials (decomposed parts, bird barbs, bird barbules, bird feathers, stones, twigs, staples, wood slivers, plastic, synthetic fibers, and rubber bands). Here is a fun chart to review as you sprinkle those spices on your favorite meal:
During the period 1973-2010, fourteen reported illness outbreaks were attributed to consumption of pathogen-contaminated spice. Countries reporting outbreaks included Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, these outbreaks resulted in 1946 reported human illnesses, 128 hospitalizations and two deaths. Infants and children were the primary population segments impacted by five of the spice-associated outbreaks.
As my kids used to say for a toast – “Happy Fooding” – Well, perhaps not so much.