A spice, sometimes herb, is a, usually vegetable, product used in small amounts for flavoring. Most spices are produced in tropical countries. There has been a long exotic trade in spices.
A study by the Food and Drug Administration of shipments of spices to the United States during fiscal years 2007-2009 showed about 7% of the shipments were contaminated by Salmonella bacteria, some of it antibiotic resistant. As most spices are cooked before being served salmonella contamination often has no effect, but some spices, particularly pepper, are often eaten raw and present at table for convenient use. Shipments from Mexico and India, a major producer, were the most frequently contaminated.
Notes and references
- Van Dorena, Jane M.; Daria Kleinmeiera, Thomas S. Hammacka, Ann Westerman (June 2013). "Prevalence, serotype diversity, and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella in imported shipments of spice offered for entry to the United States, FY2007–FY2009". Food Microbiology (Elsevier) 34 (2): 239–251. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740002012002171. Retrieved August 28, 2013. "In response to increased concerns about spice safety, the U.S. FDA initiated research to characterize the prevalence of Salmonella in imported spices. Shipments of imported spices offered for entry to the United Sates were sampled during the fiscal years 2007–2009. The mean shipment prevalence for Salmonella was 0.066 (95% CI 0.057–0.076)"
- Gardiner Harris (August 27, 2013). "Salmonella in Spices Prompts Changes in Farming". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/28/world/asia/farmers-change-over-spices-link-to-food-ills.html. Retrieved August 28, 2013.