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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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Recall -- Firm Press Release


FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.


Revised Update: Union International Food Co. is Recalling Lian How Brand Spices and Uncle Chen's Brand White Pepper and Black pepper in 5oz. Retail Containers Because of a Possible Health Risk

Union International Food Co.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- April 3, 2009 -- Union International Food Co. is further expanding the recall of Lian How brand and Uncle Chen brand dry spices to include all types of dry spice products in 15-pound and smaller containers (boxes, plastic bags & wide mouth jars) and 30-pound boxes and smaller packages of crushed chili because of a possible health risk..

The following additional dry spice products are being added at this time:

            Cumin powder


            Crushed Chili powder

Dried Cloves Powder

            Orange Peel Powder

Coriander Powder

            Black Sesame Seed


            Pepper Corn Powder

Fennel Seed

            White Sesame Seed

Fennel Seed Powder


Cinnamon Powder

            Ginger Powder

Garlic Salt

            Meat Tenderizer

Black Pepper Salt

            Bay Leaves

Five Spicys powder


Star Anise powder

Union International Food Co. of Union City, CA is recalling 15-pound and smaller size packages of the Lian How brand dry spices, 30-pound boxes and smaller size packages of Lian How crushed chili,Uncle Chen brand black pepper (whole and ground) in 5oz. retail containers, Uncle Chen white pepper (whole and ground) in 5oz. retail containers and 5 pound plastic bags and the Uncle Chen brand Wasabi powder in 2.2 pound foil bags, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Officials are investigating a multi-state Salmonella outbreak isolated Salmonella from an open container of Lian How White Pepper, which was found at a restaurant where some outbreak victims ate.  Union International Food Co. is making every possible effort to protect our customers and the consuming public. We have discussed the matter with the California Department of Public Health and agreed to initiate a recall.

The Uncle Chen and Lian How brand spices are distributed in the states of California, Oregon and Washington to wholesalers, distributors, restaurant suppliers and restaurants.  The Lian How brand products are packaged in 10 or 15lbs. boxes with plastic liners, 5-pound plastic jars or 5-pound plastic bags.  The Lian How crushed chili is sold in 30-pound boxes, 8-pound boxes and 3-pound plastic jars.  The Lian How brand products are not generally sold directly to the retail consumer.  The Uncle Chen brand white & black pepper products (whole or ground) are sold at retail in 5oz. containers.  The Uncle Chen brand white pepper (whole or ground) is sold in 5-pound plastic bags.  The Uncle Chen brand Wasabi powder is sold in 2.2 pound foil bags.  Only the products on the attached list are included in this recall.

Union International Foods Company has ceased the production and distribution of these products as the US FDA, the California Department of Public Health and Union International Foods Co. continue the investigation as to nature and full extent of this potential contamination. 

Wholesalers & Distributors of these products are instructed to immediately place the recalled merchandise on hold and immediately withdraw any product from sale or distribution. Wholesalers and Distributors must immediately alert their customers of the recall and arrange for the return to Union International Foods Co. of the recalled goods. Contact your usual Union International Foods Co. representative to arrange for return of the recalled goods.  End users and consumers are instructed to immediately suspend use of the products in their possession and either return them to the place of purchase for a full refund or dispose of them in the trash. 

For updated information or questions about the ongoing investigation, contact the Union International Food Company information line at 510-471-6799 or our website www.ufunionfood.com.  Union International Food Co., 33035 Transit Avenue, Union City, CA 94587.

Recalled Product List (updated April 3, 2009)

Photos: Product Labels


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