Daniele Inc., an Italian specialty meats company based in Rhode Island, has initiated a voluntary recall of its pepper salami because of a possible salmonella contamination. According to a press release by the company, the salami food recall was initiated because of 11 individuals who became sick after eating the salami. The press release indicates that there is not a confirmed direct link between the product and the sick consumers as of yet.
USA Today reports that far more consumers may have been affected. There was an outbreak that made 184 people sick in 38 different states back in July 2009. There were no deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released this chart of the outbreak here. They also charted how the salami could be a possible source of the illness here.
Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Some people can suffer from diarrhea that is so severe, that they need to be hospitalized. These patients may have the salmonella infection spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other sites. This may cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have severe illness.
1.2 million pounds of ready-to-eat pepper-coated salamis, sausages and other cured meats have been recalled by Daniele Inc. because of the possible contamination. The common denominator for all of the recalled products is that they all were rolled in pepper or packaged with a product that contained pepper. USA Today quotes David Theno, former head of food safety at Jack in the Box as saying that uncooked pepper has been known to carry salmonella.
As a result of this knowledge, Daniele spokesman Jason Maloni told reporters that the company will be using irradiated pepper in their products.