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Before being cleaned, treated and processed for sale, an estimated 6.6 percent of spices imported to the U.S. between fiscal year (FY) 2007 and FY2009 had a prevalence of Salmonella and roughly 12 percent were contaminated with filth like insect parts, whole insects, rodent hairs, dirt and other matter, according to a draft risk profile released Oct. 30 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The numbers in the risk profile sparked sensational headlines, but several caveats noted in the profile make these numbers less alarming.
Tamika Cathey, a former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspector and current independent regulatory consultant at EAS Consulting Group, discusses identity verification regulations and methodologies with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA).
Cathey and 15 other industry experts will discuss botanical identity verification regulations, methodologies, and technologies at the AHPA Botanical Congress being held Saturday, Nov. 16, at SupplySide West in Las Vegas.
AHPA: What responsibilities do manufacturers have when it comes to verifying the identity of ingredients?
Tamika Cathey: The manufacturer has the responsibility to verify the identity of any dietary ingredient by at least one appropriate test or examination per 21 CFR 111.75 (a)(1). In some cases, a single test or examination may be all that is required, but other cases may require conducting more than one test or examination.