When spices are used in foods the amount usually is very low. However there have been outbreaks of illness in recent years in which spices were believed to be the vehicle for human pathogens. Raw materials and extracts of botanical origin also are consumed in relatively small portions in dietary supplements and over-the-counter medicinal products containing plant-based constituents as the assumed active ingredients.
These outbreaks have prompted concern at FDA about the consumer safety of products containing spices and botanical ingredients and have led JIFSAN to the development of a training course to address the topic of Supply Chain Management for Spices and Botanical Ingredients (SCMSBI). The initial focus of the program has been on India.
This program is designed to be completed in a five-day period. It includes sections on GAP, GMP and regulatory concerns for the importation of these products into the U.S. A field trip to farms and processing and handling centers is included mid-week to allow trainers and course participants to have hands-on exposure to practices of concern in the industry.