MDH Spice Contamination: 31% Of Shipments Denied Entry By US Customs

MDH comes under scrutiny again as US customs rejected 31 per cent of its spice shipments in the last six months due to salmonella contamination

MDH has once again come under public scrutiny after US customs authorities turned away 31 per cent of its spice shipments due to salmonella contamination over the last six months.

As per a report by the Indian Express, the rejection rate of these spices has doubled from 15 per cent to 31 per cent, since October last year.

This surge in refusals comes after two countries namely, Singapore and Hong Kong temporarily halted the sales of some MDH and Everest spices.

About one-third of MDH's shipments, including products like spices, flavors, and salts, have been turned away—adding up to 11 refusals. Data from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveals that between October 2022 and September 2023, the rejection rate stood at 15 per cent.

“Salmonella contamination happens due to unhygienic practices. If you maintain hygiene practices right through the value chain, from harvesting to processing to packaging, you should not be getting salmonella,” a food safety expert cited in the report said. 

During an FDA inspection in January 2022, it was observed that MDH's manufacturing plant lacked adequate sanitary facilities and accommodations. Even the equipment and utensils at the plant were not designed or constructed to be properly cleaned or maintained to prevent contamination.

Last week, Hong Kong and Singapore had put a pause on MDH and Everest spices. This was largely due to concerns about high levels of ethylene oxide found in the spice mix, which is considered unsafe for consumption as it has a potential cancer risk.

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