L.A. firm charged with shipping salmonella-tainted seeds
A Los Angeles firm and its president face misdemeanor charges stemming from the alleged shipping of 4,000 bags of salmonella-laced sesame seeds to customers in Las Vegas.
Los Angeles city prosecutors said despite plans by U.S. Food and Drug Administration agents to inspect the seeds at the firm's warehouse, Woodhouse Commodities shipped the seeds to 18 firms in Las Vegas, including casinos, restaurants, bakeries and hotels.
Woodhouse and its president, Oded Kenan, each face one count of misbranding and one count of shipping an adulterated food. If convicted, the firm faces up to $2,000 in penalties and Kenan faces up to two years in jail.
No reports of any illness from the seeds have been reported, and authorities said the seeds could have lost their traces of salmonella if they were thoroughly cooked.
The tainted seeds, imported from India last November, were discovered during random testing by authorities.
Typically found in animal feces-contaminated food, salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within several days of consumption.