"FDA Says Basic Food Flavors Knew Plant Was Contaminated With Salmonella"

"The company at the heart of a growing recall of processed foods knew that its plant was contaminated with salmonella but continued to make a flavoring and sell it to foodmakers around the country, according to inspectors at the Food and Drug Administration.

Managers at Basic Food Flavors of Las Vegas learned on Jan. 21 that samples taken a week earlier from their Nevada facility tested positive for salmonella, a potentially deadly bacterium, but they kept shipping their product to foodmakers, according to FDA inspection records.

The company makes hydrolyzed vegetable protein, or HVP, a flavor enhancer used in a wide variety of processed foods, from potato chips to sweet and sour tofu. The additive, which comes as a powder or a paste, is mixed into foods to give them a meaty or savory flavor -- similar to the use of monosodium glutamate."

Lyndsey Layton reports for the Washington Post March 10, 2010.

Source: Wash Post, 03/10/2010