WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration is advising people with peanut allergies to avoid cumin after several shipments of the spice tested positive for peanuts not listed on the label.
The agency issued an alert saying that people who are highly allergic or sensitive to peanuts may be at risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume the contaminated cumin. Hundreds of products have been recalled since December, from spice mixes to black beans to meats with marinades that include cumin.
The spice is often used in Tex-Mex and Indian dishes, and the contaminated spice may be imported. The FDA declined to provide any further details on how it happened or what company added peanuts or peanut residue to its cumin spice.
According to the group Food Allergy Research and Education, or FARE, 15 million Americans have food allergies, including 1 in 13 children. Eight foods account for more than 90 percent of the allergies — peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish.