Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Should Be Aware Of Bacteria And "Filth" In Commonly Used Spices

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a report on October 30th entitled "Pathogens and Filth in Spices." It revealed that about 12% of imported spices are filled with "filth" including  animal excrement, insects (live and dead, whole or in parts), hair from humans, rodents and other animals, decomposed parts, and other materials like stones, twigs, staples, wood slivers, plastic, synthetic fibers, rubber bands and even salmonella. 

Recommended Reading: Effective Spice Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Can Use As Garnish And To Correct Blood Pressure

Why is this important to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients you may ask? Well, as many longtime CKD patients know and new ones will figure out, to stay healthy people with CKD are encouraged by their healthcare teams to avoid salt and substitute it with, yes you guessed it, spice. Using spices to substitute for salt in foods is good for decreasing blood pressure, reducing risk of heart incident, preventing significant water retention and overall health. 

Recommended Reading: Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Likely Consuming Considerable Amounts Of Salt Without Knowing

Nearly all insects found were pests associated with stored products which might suggest inadequate packaging, and rodent hair typically means rodent feces may contaminate

the spice, according to the FDA. However, their report focused mainly on the risk for salmonella because it was the only bacteria found in spice that has been linked with human illness and food recalls. When ingested salmonella may cause an infection within 12 to 72 hours. While symptoms are less serious in a healthy individual, those with a weakened immune system such as people with CKD may develop severe diarrhea, cramps, fatigue and need hospitalization.

Recommended Reading: Learn How to Reduce Your Salt Intake by Adding Spices 

In the past spice has not been linked to major health risks. Less than 2000 illnesses and 128 hospitalizations have been linked to spice outbreaks. Black pepper was implicated as a culprit in four of the outbreaks as well as red pepper, white pepper, curry, fennel seed, turmeric and some seasoning mixes. While the FDA refused nearly 750 shipments of spices because of salmonella (80 types of the bacteria found, nearly 7 percent showed antibiotic resistance), and another 240 due to the presence of "filth," tests were not completed on spices already being sold at retail grocery stores or restaurants.

Recommended Reading: Should Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Be Switching To A Vegetarian Diet To Improve Outcomes? 

People with CKD should not feel overly concerned or as though they have to sacrifice the flavorful ingredients they use to spice their meals. The FDA noted in its report that typically the raw spices from non-organic sources contained the most bacteria and filth. Hence, KidneyBuzz.com would recommend that you select ready-to-eat organic spices that have already been cleaned and processed before sale. 

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References: 

Van Doren, Jane M. "FDA: 12% of Imported Spices Contaminated with Insect Parts, Salmonella, Hair." Cbsnews.com. CBSNew.

Huff, Ethan A. "FDA: Many Common Cooking Spices May Contain Bug Parts, Rodent Hairs." Naturalnews.com. NaturalNew