Maybe it’s time to toss the cinnamon sticks: Dried spices are the No. 1 cause of salmonella poisoning among imported foods. Per the Times, researchers have found that 9 percent of spices imported from India and 14 percent of those from Mexico carry the bug, findings that are less surprising once you realize that most of these shelf staples are dried on dirt floors that are wide open to bird poop (gross but true). The good news is that spice farmers are starting to respond to the bad publicity by upgrading to such high-tech practices as boiling spices and using netting to keep out the poo. The FDA will reportedly release a comprehensive report “soon,” but in the meantime, be wary of your spice cabinet; it seems salmonella can survive on dried spices indefinitely. [NYT]
It only looks harmless.