Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Alright, it's not "real" salt - it's what is called "mock" salt. That's the kind of salt you are supposed to use if you have high blood pressure or need to reduce your salt intake for other reasons.

Washington-Jones’ Seasoning Blends LLC is recalling Jones’ Mock Salt Original as well as Jones’ Mock Salt Spicy Southwest Blend. The reason: Salmonella contamination is suspected. It is not unusual for Salmonella bacteria to turn up in dry herbs and spices, as they survive very well for months in such environments. And, as you will see from the above photo of the label - the products are "organic." Yet another "organic" food item with bacteria...

So how did the bacteria get into the product? Well, this is one of those spinoff recalls. You may remember that over a month ago (note the long time-lapse) we had a recall of celery seed (see my 4 posts of Dec. 18 through Dec. 22, 2011) because of possible contamination by Salmonella bacteria. The same celery seeds are used as an ingredient in these mock salt products, which now have to be recalled too:

- Jones’ Mock Salt Original: Organic Salt Free Seasoning, 1.6 oz bottles (UPC 0 94922 16616 6), 12 oz bags (UPC 0 94922 07199 6) and 16 oz bags (0 94922 16616 6).

- Jones’ Mock Salt Spicy Southwest Blend: Organic Salt Free Seasoning, 1.6 oz bottles (UPC 0 94922 01560 0).

As there is no lot number on the bottles or bags, the company advises that to be safe you should destroy any products purchased from July 1, 2011 to December 14, 2011.

And yes, you could get enough Salmonella bacteria from a little sprinkle to make you ill if the bacteria are there in large numbers.

After reading the history of this small one-woman created company on the website, I feel very sorry for her - in fact, as sorry as I did for the owner of the sprouted seed plant as he wept over the phone to me as FDA inspectors were crawling over his plant. This is a story of admirable entrepreneurship. I do wish this hadn't happened to her, and I hope her business survives. She is the victim of a bad ingredient - one she trusted - and nothing she could have done would have avoided this.

My only criticism is the long delay - over a month, in recalling her products, which again, I do understand. No one wants a recall - especially a small company like this for which it can be a fatal blow, particularly during difficult economic times.

In fact, if you are buying these products, or thinking of doing so, and this company does not fold because of this unfortunate incident, I would suggest you don't hold this recall against them.

To your good health,


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