Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Veggie Booty Update

Attorney and fellow blogger Bill Marler has posted an update on last year's Veggie Booty Salmonella outbreak investigation.

According to a report issued by the New York Department of Health, the Veggie Booty snacks (produced by Roberts American Gourmet), which were responsible for 83 cases of salmonellosis in more than 20 states, contained at least five different Salmonella serotypes as well as another pathogen - Enterobacter sakazakii. Samples of a seasoning blend used to coat the snacks also tested positive for Salmonella.

Thirteen out of 61 bags of snacks tested nationwide were confirmed to be contaminated with Salmonella. This astonishingly high contamination rate, and the presence of multiple serotypes of Salmonella in this product, indicates to me that there was a major breakdown in the company's food safety control procedures.

The New York State report, which can be downloaded from Bill Marler's web site, doesn't address the origins of the contamination beyond saying that preliminary indications pointed to a blended seasoning that was used to coat the snacks. Nor does it mention the country of origin of the seasoning or its components. The FDA and CDC have not yet published their final reports. Let's hope that they will be able to inform us of the source of the contaminated products.

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