Spices add flavors and make our food more desirable and taste great. But be careful, you may be adding other ingredients to your food that perish your health.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, the spices we are using today are contaminated with different filth materials because of the often complex and lengthy spice distribution process, packaging and storage. When spices are improperly packaged or stored, it may become contaminated through contact with animals, contaminated soil, water, equipment, may become wet which can facilitate the growth of pathogens such as Salmonella and or molds. Here are some of the contaminants identified by US FDA research.
Rodent hairs and animal excrement
According to US FDA, 12% of spice examined are contaminated with rodent hairs, animal excrement (bird, and insect), hairs (human, rodent, bat, cow, sheep, dog, cat) and other materials including decomposed animal body parts, bird barbs, bird barbules, bird feathers, stones, twigs, staples, wood slivers, plastic, synthetic fibers, rubber bands and many others.
Live and dead whole insects
The study also found different live and dead insects, insect body parts on checked packages and spices storage.
Salmonella and or molds are the usual pathogens found on spices according to the US Food and Drug Administration. Pathogens may bring harm and cause a person to ill.
However, according to the report published on CNN, only a tiny fraction of the public has gotten sick from using and eating spices. In the 37 years of records examined, it found only 14 outbreaks worldwide associated with spices and seasonings, resulting in fewer than 2,000 human illnesses and 128 hospitalizations. The FDA characterized it as a “relatively small number of outbreaks” compared to other foodborne illness.
That’s quite fair but would you able to take your food with these contaminants?
Meanwhile authorities advise to be cautious in using uncooked spices, “if it will be cooked there will be no problem,” said US FDA.