LA Company Faces Charges After Shipping Seeds With Salmonella

Misdemeanor charges have been filed against a Los Angeles company accused of shipping 4,000 bags of sesame seeds contaminated with salmonella bacteria to Las Vegas.

City prosecutors said Woodhouse Commodities Inc. sent the bags to 18 casinos, restaurants, bakeries and hotels, even though inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration had planned to inspect them at a warehouse.

One count of misbranding and one count of shipping an adulterated food were filed against the company and its president, Oded Kenan.

If convicted, Kenan faces up to two years in jail, and the company faces up to $2,000 in penalties.

An employee of Woodhouse said Kenan would not be available to comment until Friday.

The seeds came from India and arrived in the United States last November.

They were among hundreds of bags randomly selected for testing.

The seeds could have lost their traces of salmonella if they were thoroughly cooked.

There have been no reports of anyone getting sick from the seeds, authorities said.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 72 hours of consumption.

It is usually found in food contaminated with animal feces, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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