The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers with peanut allergies to avoid food products containing cumin spice due to possible traces of peanut. Cumin is a common ingredient in Indian dishes and Tex-Mex style cooking.
Consumers have reported at least seven incidents in the cumin recall. As a result, products have been continuously recalled since December 2014 including sauces, meats, poultry and black beans. Whole Foods Market and Goya Foods are two of the larger entities that have issued recalls.
Officials are warning consumers to practice extreme vigilance as some of the affected food products––spice mixes and kits, soups and chilis––may only list “spices” in the ingredients. Some labels may not specifically identify cumin. According to the FDA, “Most finished products are expected to have low amounts of ground cumin, and therefore low amounts of peanut protein. Products made before 2014 are unlikely to contain the affected ground cumin,”
The FDA is instructing consumers to seek immediate medical care or advice if an allergic reaction occurs. This may include shortness of breath, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or hives.
Details regarding how peanut residue was able to contaminate cumin or what company might be responsible has not been released by the FDA.