Salmonella Found In Seasoning Used On Recalled Snack Foods

Tuesday, July 3rd 2007, 6:09 pm
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A seasoning made with imported Chinese ingredients used on recalled snack foods was contaminated with salmonella, a company official said Tuesday. The snack foods sickened dozens of people.

The seasoning, used on both Super Veggie Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks and Veggie Booty snack foods, tested positive for the bacteria, said Robert Ehrlich, president and chief executive of Robert's American Gourmet Inc. The ``veggie'' seasoning's ingredients came primarily from China, the company said.

Also Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said it found a strain of the bacteria called salmonella Wandsworth in a Veggie Booty sample. The rare strain matched the genetic fingerprint of the type that made consumers ill in multiple states, Minnesota officials said in a release.

The Sea Cliff, N.Y., company recalled its Veggie Booty Snack Food last week after it was associated with 54 cases of salmonella poisoning in 17 states. Many of those infected reported eating Veggie Booty.

The company expanded the recall on Monday to include Super Veggie Tings Crunchy Corn Sticks Snack Food, since it uses the same seasoning. Both baked products were sold across United States and Canada.

No other company product uses the spray-on seasoning.

The recall is only the latest in a growing series to involve Chinese-made products found to be tainted, defective or otherwise dangerous. In recent weeks, there have been recalls of Chinese tires, toy trains and toothpaste. The government also is blocking some Chinese farmed seafood imports because of widespread contamination by antibiotics and other drugs.

Ehrlich said he had been unaware of where the ingredients used in the seasoning originated. The products are made under contract; Ehrlich would not identify the manufacturer.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.