Pumpkin spice and many herbs recalled across US over bacteria risk

The fall season is firmly upon the US, meaning it's time to break out the pumpkin-flavored treats. This particularly popular spice blend is among many that have been recalled in dozens of US states due to the potential contamination of one particular herb from the supplier behind the products. Joining the recalled pumpkin spice are everything from gourmet seeds to organic cinnamon, black pepper, and blends like Seafood Grill & Boil.

The recall was voluntarily announced by Sauer Brands on Monday, with the company explaining that these recalls herbs and spices were sold under its 'The Spice Hunter' brand — distribution covered 31 states across the US ranging from coast to coast and all the way up to Alaska. In addition to selling these products through retail stores, the products may have also been sold through The Spice Hunter's website.

According to the recall, which was highlighted by the FDA this week, the raw material received by Sauer Brands was originally certified as free of Salmonella, a bacteria that can live on food products, causing potentially serious illness in those who consume the foods. However, the supplier behind certain lots of organic parsley reached out to the company to alert it to the possible presence of Salmonella.

Fortunately, the company only used these potentially contaminated materials in its production for two days; Sauer explains that it is recalling other non-parsley products that were produced on the same days as the potentially contaminated products to ensure that possible cross-contamination won't make anyone sick. There haven't been any reports of illness caused by these recalled products.

Though a healthy person who contracts Salmonella is likely to recover after an uncomfortable illness, the bacteria can cause a more serious, and rarely fatal, illness in at-risk groups, including the elderly and young kids. Symptoms can include fever, stomach pains, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

As for the recalled products, Sauer notes that they were sold in clear glass jars of various quantities, but that they will all contain one of the three following lot codes on the jar label:

- 20217C

- 20220C

- 20269C

The recall covers certain jars of organic parsley from The Spice Hunter brand, as well as Saigon Organic Cinnamon, Madagascar Cloves, Gourmet Seasame Seeds, Herbes De Provence, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Coriander, Green Hatch Chile, California garlic, black pepper, paprika, fine black pepper, Szechwan Seasoning, and more. The full list of products, including other identification numbers, can be found on the FDA's website here.