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Published on : Nov 27, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have joined forces to address a major issue of national security - food supply. Given the fact that 15% of the country’s food supply is being imported from overseas, it has become imperative to monitor from where the food is coming in.

FDA officers recently inspected a plant in Carson, checking into foreign-made spices such as black pepper and other food. The aim of the inspection is to anticipate and intercept any danger to the security of the country. 

Some of the food items and spices under the scanner include black pepper from Vietnam, red peppers from China, anchovies from Korea, and canola oil from China. These are mostly being inspected for Salmonella, says an FDA inspector Pamela Lee, and the shipment of anchovies from Korea come from a manufacturer who is already on a watch list by the government.

FDA Director of Import Operations Dan Solis states that there have been problems with spices earlier due to which, the surveillance and inspection has been tightened. A significant amount of spices imported by the U.S. are hair, bug parts, and rat faeces – all termed as filth. Shipments such as these are being rejected by the Food and Drug Administration and these are already on their way back to being exported to their country of origin. 

Another secure facility under the scanner and which had to be destroyed is a cucumber shipment which contained harmful and banned pesticides.