Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today announced the recall of Union International Food Company spices has been widened, and now includes pepper sold at retail stores under the Uncle Chen product name.
White and black pepper products from the company’s Union City facility in the Bay Area have been associated with an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened 42 people in four states, including 33 in California. No deaths have been reported. The illnesses among California residents have occurred in 15 counties in Central and Northern California.
A list of retailers that sell the Uncle Chen product line is available at Union Itl Food - Uncle Chen - Retail Distribution. The products include four varieties of pepper: whole and ground Uncle Chen's White Pepper and whole and ground Uncle Chen's Black Pepper. All four products are in 5 ounce containers.
Union International Food Company has initiated a voluntary recall of the retail pepper products as well as other pepper and spice products repackaged in its facility.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in infants, frail or elderly individuals and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (occasionally bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and produce more severe illnesses. Consumers should consult with their physicians if they have these symptoms.
The CDPH Web site will be updated with additional information as it becomes available. Consumers with questions may contact Union International Food Company at (510) 471-6799.