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12% of Your Spices May Be Contaminated With 'Filth'

FDA also finds that 7% of imported spices have salmonella
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2013 6:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – Great, the FDA has identified one more thing for people to worry about in the kitchen: spices. The most comprehensive testing yet finds that 7% of spices imported into the country are contaminated with salmonella, reports the Los Angeles Times. That's twice as high as other foods inspected by the agency. More unappetizing news: 12% of imported spices are contaminated with what the FDA describes as "filth"—think insects, rodent hair, and animal excrement, reports the New York Times.

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The agency identified leafy seasonings such as basil and oregano as at the highest risk for salmonella, reports Bloomberg, and it said Mexico shipped the highest percentage of contaminated spices, followed by India. An FDA official called the findings a "wake-up call" for the spice industry. “It means: ‘Hey, you haven’t solved the problems.'” (Read more spices stories.)

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