Union International Foods White Pepper Spice OutbreakBetween December 2008 and April 2009 at least 79 people became ill with the fairly rare strain of Salmonella rissen after consuming spices, sauces, and oils made by Union International Foods. The illnesses were concentrated Western states, with the majority of them in California. The spices were distributed under the brand names Lian How and Uncle Chen.
In the original recall, numerous dry spices, including Cumin powder, Cloves, Crushed Chili powder, Dried Cloves Powder, Orange Peel Powder, Coriander Powder, Black Sesame Seed, Coriander, Pepper Corn Powder, Fennel Seed, White Sesame Seed, Fennel Seed Powder, Turmeric, Cinnamon Powder, Ginger Powder, Garlic Salt, Meat Tenderizer, Black Pepper Salt, Bay Leaves, Five Spices powder, Nutmeg, and Star Anise powder were all recalled for Salmonella contamination. The list of items recalled for potential Salmonella contamination later grew to include more than 50 sauces and oils made by the company. White Pepper made by the company tested positive for the outbreak strain of Salmonella. It is possible that other products were contaminated during processing.