Spices May be the Source of Contaminated Food


salmonellaFor the many people who avoid eating meat because of the potential for contamination, new findings by studies conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration are going to be disappointing, if not startling. Spices have now been added to the list of potentially tainted foods, containing salmonella, along with rodent hair and insect parts. Seven percent of the imported spices they tested contained the potentially deadly bacterium, while twelve percent were found to be contaminated with the less threatening, yet unappealing, remnants.

Numerous science articles have been published with the recent findings, bringing new areas of concern for healthy eating. Although the insect parts are not a real threat, they are not something that anyone wants to have in their food. And though salmonella is certainly the most dangerous of these findings, it may not be as dangerous to us when it is in these spices as it is in other types of foods. Spices are generally put into foods in small quantities and cooked, minimizing their risk. Nonetheless, during the past 30 years, there have been 14 or more disease outbreaks around the world, with nearly 2,000 being affected, including at least two deaths. While these numbers are minimal in comparison to some threats, they represent only one area of potential contamination.

According to one science article, eggs, vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, nuts and seeds are also on the list of most potentially contaminated foods. They advise always washing foods thoroughly, including those that are packaged and have been pre-washed. Although many nutritionists and weight loss experts recommend eating raw fruits and vegetables to get the greatest amount of nutrition, cooking thoroughly will help prevent the spread of salmonella. Considering the newest addition to the list has potential for contamination, include spices before cooking, instead of adding afterwards.

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