(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is working with its member companies following an FDA consumer advisory of February 18 on products containing ground cumin with undeclared peanuts.
The FDA issued an advisory to consumers with peanut allergies about some recalled food products containing cumin that also contained an undeclared peanut protein. The FDA is advising people who are highly allergic to peanuts to consider avoiding products that contain ground cumin or cumin powder given that some shipments of these products have tested positive for undeclared peanut protein.
“People with severe peanut allergies should follow the FDA advisory and its recommended steps,” said Dr. Leon Bruner, GMA’s chief science officer. “GMA is actively working with member companies to provide them with advice on steps they can take to evaluate their spice ingredient supply systems to help them assure the quality of ingredients used in their products.”
Ground cumin may be sold as a spice, in a spice mix or kit, or as a minor ingredient when used in finished food products like soups and chilies. 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 recommends that consumers with severe peanut allergies and their caregivers should review the list of recalled products and avoid these foods. Ingredients panels that list “spices,” may or may not contain cumin. The agency recommends that people who are highly sensitive to peanuts may want to call the manufacturer to find out if the product contains cumin powder.
The FDA is still identifying companies that received shipments of the ground cumin with undeclared peanuts and is working with these companies to remove affected products from the marketplace.
Consumers should note that this advisory applies only to those who are allergic to peanuts. The FDA is also advising that if individuals do exhibit symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as shortness of breath, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or hives, they should stop eating the product and seek immediate medical attention.
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.
Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.
In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.