The US Food and Drug Administration is undertaking an investigation of pepper plants in Vietnam following allegations that black pepper imported from Vietnam may have caused American consumers to fall sick, the Vietnam Pepper Association has announced.
Do Ha Nam, chairman of the association, said the watchdog-led mission will be joined by local authorities to the plants whose owners have been informed individually about the inspections.
"They will focus on pepper processing plants to see if the owners have complied with the process that they registered with the watchdog before shipping to the US market," said Nam.
He told Thanh Nien Weekly on Tuesday the watchdog had not released the date for the investigation to begin but said it would last eight months from April.
Many American newspapers reported that contaminated pepper imported from Vietnam may have been the source of an outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo that had sickened more than 200 Americans recently.
In an interview in February, Nam rejected the US allegations, saying the product was safe for users worldwide.