About 1000 patients were investigated at our clinic during 1991-1995 for occupational skin disease, and 5 had occupational allergic contact dermatitis from spices. The patients were chefs, or kitchen, coffee room, and restaurant workers. All patients had hand (or finger) dermatitis. The causative spices were: garlic, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove. The same patients also had allergic patch test reactions to foods: tomato, lettuce and carrot. Paprika elicited a weak allergic patch test reaction in 2 patients. Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from spices is relatively rare, but needs to be taken into consideration in patients who have hand dermatitis, and work with spices and foods. Patch testing with spices as is is useful, but testing with dilutions in pet, may be needed to confirm that the patch test reactions are allergic. Patients also need to be prick tested with spices and foods.