A range of supplements have been recalled in The USA due to a possible salmonella contamination. A company in California, USA that manufactures dietary supplements (Eco Health Inc.) were informed of the possible contamination by the United States Food and Drug Administration who tested the product. The company voluntarily recalled the product as one of the ingredients used in the supplement’s production contained salmonella.
The ingredient which is manufactured in South Korea caused the contamination of other products in the past. The name of the culprit product is Galacto Oligosaccharide, an indigestible fibre made from milk that is commonly used in dietary supplements.
This post on the Foodsafetynews.com website explains:
According to the recall notice, the problem was identified by FDA “because the contract manufacturer notified the FDA of a similar problem with the Ingredion label.”
Ingredion recalled nearly 40,000 pounds of the dietary supplement ingredient Galacto Oligosaccharide — made in a plant in South Korea — beginning in May of 2012 after testing revealed the presence of Salmonella in the substance, according to the Chicago Tribune. GO is an undigestiblefiber made from milk that is included in dietary supplements as a purported digestive aid.
The Ingredion recall prompted a number of subsequent market withdrawals of products made with the ingredient, among them a recall of Wellesse’s digestive health drinks manufactured by a Ferndale, WA company in June.
Although most salmonella infections occur through the consumption of contaminated meat or eggs, it can be ingested through the consumption of other foods, drinks and even dietary supplements as in this case. The danger of salmonella contaminated foods is that they seldom display signs of spoilage which is why people are not aware of the danger of consumption before it is too late.
Salmonella lives in the intestinal tract of humans and other animals such as birds and is usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal faeces. Salmonella poisoning usually doesn’t last more than a week and normally does not result in death however the symptoms can be uncomfortable and should be avoided as much as possible.
Consumers who eat Salmonella contaminated food and contract salmonellosis suffer from diarrhoea, headaches, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting as well as running a high fever. In very serious instances, salmonella bacteria have been known to enter the tracts of the lymph which are the body’s transport system carrying water and protein to the blood.
Although the bacteria can affect anyone, of any age or gender, children and the elderly with a lowered immune system are most vulnerable. As are those who suffer from a low gastric acidity or people who often consume antacids.
Some of the practical ways to avoid salmonella poisoning are:
1. Separate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods to prevent cross contamination.
2. It is preferable to use a nonporous cutting board such as glass or plastic rather than a wooden one which is more likely to hold bacteria. Also when washing cooking surfaces and chopping boards use hot, soapy water and use a different chopping board for raw meat and different one for other foods like vegetables.
3. Wash your hands and any utensils in hot soapy water. Use paper towels to wipe and throw away after use. If you use a cloth to wipe up raw meat or eggs, wash it in hot water before using it again and the same goes for sponges because they are in their very nature made to absorb things including dirt and bacteria. Sponges should be changed regularly because they carry a shocking amount of bacteria.
4. Never put food on the same plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood without washing it thoroughly first.
If you follow a few basic hygiene and cleanliness rules you can avoiding causing salmonella poisoning through the food that you prepare. Be vigilant and check the press for any product recalls in your area to avoid consuming potentially life threatening foods or supplements.