WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration says almost 7 percent of imported spices over a three-year period were contaminated with salmonella.
In a report released Wednesday, the agency said testing of imported spices between 2007 and 2010 showed they were twice as likely as other inspected foods to be contaminated with the pathogen. More than 80 different types of salmonella were detected.
The agency decided to study the issue as several spice-related outbreaks have caused illnesses around the world. In 2009 and 2010, black pepper and red pepper from India, Vietnam and China used in salami caused hundreds of outbreaks of illness.
The FDA says there have been 14 known outbreaks globally since 1973 that were linked to spices, causing almost 2,000 outbreaks of illness, many of which were in children.