US FDA tests find salmonella in MDH sambar masala, three lots recalled

Prabha Raghavan
The statement does not specify that the recall was voluntary.

At least three lots of MDH s sambar masala were withdrawn from the US earlier this week after tests conducted by the country s food and drug regulator revealed that the products contained salmonella, it said.

This product was tested by FDA through a certified laboratory to be positive for salmonella, stated the US Food and Drug Authority (US FDA) in an official release on the move. The recall was initiated after it was discovered by the FDA that the salmonella contaminated products were distributed, it added.

The statement does not specify that the recall was voluntary.

Salmonella is a bacteria that causes salmonellosis, a common food borne illness with symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Most people recover from it without treatment, but some may have diarrhea so severe that they would require hospitalisation, according to the FDA. In more severe cases, patients may develop a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, rash, blood in the urine or stool and, in some cases, salmonellosis may become fatal, according to it.

Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness, it said.

The recalled lots (codes: 47, 48 and 107) were manufactured by R-Pure Agro Specialities, sold by US-based supplier House of Spices and distributed in northern California retail stores. R-Pure has the same directors on its board as MDH, according to data accessed by The Indian Express on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) website on Tuesday.

It is not clear whether the MDH products manufactured by R-Pure for the US market have also been distributed in India. Queries sent to the registered email address of MDH listed on the MCA website remained unanswered by press time Tuesday.

Problems with salmonella contamination of MDH products have been flagged by the US FDA before, with the regulator detaining imports of its spice products in over 20 instances between 2016 and 2018 for this reason, according to the FDA website.