Bug parts found in imported spices - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Bug parts found in imported spices

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You may be getting more than you bargained for when you buy imported spices.  A new Food and Drug Administration report says 12% of spice imports into the United States are contaminated with bug parts, rodent hair and other unappetizing ingredients.  The study also found seven percent of the spice imports inspectors examined were contaminated with salmonella.  Salmonella are toxic bacteria that can trigger diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.

The amount of "filth" the FDA found in imported spice was twice that found in other kinds of imported food.  The report characterized this as a "systemic challenge."  On a positive note, the study also found only a tiny fraction of the American public has gotten sick from spices.

The FDA says the Spice Board of India is currently working directly with farmers to put additional safety practices in place and to lower the risk of contamination.  The agency has provided some food safety training in India, as has the American Spice Trade Association.  The FDA says it has increased its inspections of spice facilities and will take further action to strengthen the spice safety net.

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