Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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Union International Food Company Ground Pepper 2008

White and black pepper products from the Union City, California, facility of the Union International Food Company were found to contain Salmonella and were linked to illnesses in four states. The Salmonella Rissen that was isolated from product and environmental samples genetically matched the Salmonella Rissen that was isolated from case-patients. Union International manufactured ground white pepper and repackaged pepper and a variety of other spices. They also packaged and sold oils and sauces. Many of the illnesses resulted from eating food at Asian style restaurants that were using black and/or white pepper. The outbreak resulted in the company's decision to recall all dry spices, sauces, oils, and oil blends.

  • Outbreak began:
  • December 2008
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California, Oregon, Idaho
  • Organism(s):
  • Salmonella
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Herbs and Spices, Dried, Pepper
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • PFGE Xbal-enzyme pattern (TEEXO1.0014)
  • Location(s):
  • Grocery stores
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Lian How, Uncle Chen
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 87
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 87
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 8
  • Any Deaths:
  • Yes
  • Number Dead:
  • 1

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