Through an order dated 15 July. 2021 the FSSAI has withdrawn the INFOSAN alert notice related to the detection of Salmonella in dried oregano from Chile.
The FSSAI has drawn attention to its previous order dated 01 July 2021 regarding the INFOSAN alert on the detection of Salmonella in dried oregano from Chile. FSSAI had issued an order after an alert was circulated by INFOSAN after food testing was carried out by food testing laboratory Eurofins in Sweden in May and June 2021. The FSSAI had further circulated the alert notice so that the public and the stakeholders in India also become aware so that inadvertent consumption of the implicated product could be avoided in India immediately.
The matter has been investigated further and it has been reported by INFOSAN vide email dated 12 July 2021 that
“The investigation of the case has concluded that on the consignment detected in Sweden was affected, due to an unusual summer rain in the central zone of Chile that affected this condiment, in its drying stage. Therefore, there is no other consignment exported to other countries affected by this problem.”
In view of the above emergent facts in the case, the FSSAI has decided to withdraw the said Order dated 1 July 2021. Further the FSSAI has stated that any recall process initiated pursuant to the said order stands terminated with immediate effect. However, the same is without prejudice to any action against the importing Food Business Operator with respect to samples drawn by the concerned Food Safety Officers or Authorised Officers, as per the provisions of the FSS Act 2006 and Rules & Regulations made thereunder.
Salmonella in Spices
Ground or whole spices can become infected with salmonella contamination whether it is coriander, oregano, sesame seeds, pepper, cumin and various curry powders. Most spices are harvested from plants and are laid on the ground so they can dry. So, during the harvesting, picking and drying process the spices can get contaminated from infected birds and animals. If the drying and storage is inadequate, then too spices can get infected with Salmonella pathogens. There are several spices which are decontaminated by the manufacturers in the spice exporting countries. Some of the methods they use to kill Salmonella are irradiation and heat treatment and treatment with ethylene oxide gas.
Source : FSSAI