Heads up: Latest scare in the spice industry

BY Rolf Uys

In South Africa, we had numerous food safety incidents of Sudan Red, a carcinogenic industrial chemical being added to food. This occurred in 2005, 2007 and again in 2014. Then there was the saga of Melamine being added to milk powder in 2009. Now, the latest scare is that Cumin spice has been adulterated with peanuts. We all know that peanuts could be deadly for allergic consumers. The impact in the food industry is massive. It’s not only the cumin spice itself, but all the products it is added to. Meat, poultry, even home care products such as body scrubs and lotions. Countries affected so far are USA, Canada and Europe. It has also been detected by South African companies testing their cumin stocks.


It appears that this originated in Gujarat, India, one of the main Cumin producing areas in the world. They experienced a significant crop failure due to extreme head conditions. This prompted some processors to mix ground peanut shells and peanuts into cumin to save costs.

So, food manufacturers, heads up if you use any form of cumin. Test your raw materials, review your supply chain and revise your HACCP plan. Worrying is the fact that adulteration of foods will probably occur again in future in the food industry. There will be extreme weather somewhere else in the world and there will be unscrupulous players that falsify their foodstuffs to save a few dollars.


Entecom is presenting a Supplier Quality Assurance Course next week and if you hurry up you can still get a place. We will be discussing all the relevant systems that could be implemented to defend against future incidents such as this. To book a place contact estee@entecom.co.za.

Source: allergicliving

 May 07, 2015
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Rolf Uys

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