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Oklahoma spice makers say their products are safe

A new Food and Drug Administration report states about 12 percent of the spices imported between the 2007 and 2009 fiscal years included filth, including animal hair and insects. But Oklahoma seasoning makers say their products undergo rigorous inspections and are safe.
by Silas Allen Modified: November 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm •  Published: November 5, 2013

“Every spice, everything, has traceability. And that's the way it should be,” Merrifield said. “I feel good about the safeguards that are in place.”

A statement issued Thursday from the American Spice Trade Association acknowledged spices imported into the United States may be grown in tropical or subtropical countries “where sanitation and food handling practices may not always be adequate.”

The group says most of the imported spices come to the United States as raw agricultural commodities and then undergo extensive cleaning and treatment once they enter the country.

Felicia Schaefer, owner of Edmond-based Cedar Hill Seasonings, said the spices the company sells undergo a battery of tests to ensure they don't contain contaminants.

Besides making and selling its own line of spices, Cedar Hill also blends spices and does labeling for smaller seasoning makers in the area. Although its spices come from all over the world, the company only deals with reputable suppliers, Schaefer said.

“We buy from such quality suppliers that everything is screened at least three or four times,” Schaefer said. “We've never had a problem.”

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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