The Spices Board of India has denied the charge of a section of the US media that Indian spices are a major source of a variety of bacteria that causes typhoid and other stomach diseases.
The board said India had given priority to quality and met all food-safety standards and did the mandatory checks before shipment, and 98.5% of all varieties, especially black pepper, were found to be without salmonella (as alleged), and that was above the international standards.
“Most of the claims are misleading and they would damage the credentials of one of the largest spice-producing countries like India,” said board marketing director KC Babu.
A report in the New York Times had said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a US agency, found around 7% of India’s shipment contaminated with salmonella.
Around 15% of the supply of coriander, 12% of oregano (a variety of mint) and 4% of black pepper were found contaminated, the report said.