FDA urges stronger safeguards for spices

ORChick

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Safety is all very well, but is this really the best that they can do?

The bits I put in bold remind me of the GMO issue - they won't buy it if we label, therefore we should be allowed not to label. This argument comes up so often, and just stuns me every time.



"Jeff Farrar, the FDA's associate commissioner for food safety, said the government wants the spice industry to do more to prevent contamination. That would include use of one of three methods to rid spices of bacteria: irradiation, steam heating or fumigation with ethylene oxide, a pesticide."

"No retail spice company uses irradiation because federal law requires disclosure of irradiation on the label, and the industry thinks consumers will not buy those products.

"If the labeling issue would go away, I think there would be a high interest to go to irradiation," Markus said, adding that irradiation is the cheapest and most effective method to decontaminate spices."


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/13/AR2010031301111.html?hpid=topnews
 

gettinaclue

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The longer I'm here on this forum, the more I learn about food, and the more scared/worried/concerned/ and just plain GROSSED OUT I become. :sick

Nothing like a little radiation to make that cake taste great.

Yum. :sick
 

freemotion

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Yep, I am growing more and more of my own herbs, and moving more towards whole spices and grating them myself. Exactly WHAT is it that they are trying to kill on dry spices????
 

Wifezilla

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No kidding!!

I grow my own basil, oregano, thyme and sage. I use duck poo to fertilize and I still can't think of anything so bad I could get on those herbs that I would need to irradiate it!
 

FarmerDenise

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Wifezilla said:
No kidding!!

I grow my own basil, oregano, thyme and sage. I use duck poo to fertilize and I still can't think of anything so bad I could get on those herbs that I would need to irradiate it!
:thumbsup :lol:
 

Occamstazer

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FarmerDenise said:
Wifezilla said:
No kidding!!

I grow my own basil, oregano, thyme and sage. I use duck poo to fertilize and I still can't think of anything so bad I could get on those herbs that I would need to irradiate it!
:thumbsup :lol:
Yeah! If they need to irradiate herbs, they're doing it wrong.

ETA: Dear FDA,
1338_doing_it_wrong.jpg
 

ORChick

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I am growing my own herbs, but the spices from the tropics are something else again. I guess I need to check my supplies, and order again soon. Whole spices keep a whole lot longer than we are often led to believe, if kept cool, dry, and dark. At worst, one just needs to use a bit more. One begins to see how fortunes were won and lost on the availability of pepper or nutmeg.
Apparently, according to the article, retail spice sellers at present are not irradiating their products. I know that Penzeys is not, as I wrote and asked. Penzeys is a bit pricey, but their quality is good. I buy many of my spices from an Indian market; what I can't get there I usually order from Penzey. For organic I go to Mountain Rose.
 

Kim_NC

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Reminds me of last summer when irradiating lettuce became a big topic. Another vendor at our local market put a sign in her booth - "Radiation Free Lettuce" LOL

The purpose of irradiation is supposed to be for killing bacteria like e. coli, salmonella, etc. But the real problem lies in commercial growing practices, unsanitary employee practices in the field, and soaking/washing pratices in commercial processing that spread the bacteria.

ETA: Occamstazer, love that pic!
 

sylvie

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I admit that I was ignorant about salmonella lurking and being viable for years on dried products.
Why haven't most of us gotten ill from these dried spices up until now? What suddenly changed?
 

hoosier

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I guess I missed the news story about masses of people dying from contaminated spices. . .
Seriously - has anyone ever heard of a problem with them?
 

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