June 25, 2024

Salmonella Outbreaks from Nuts

The current multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to non-dairy cheeses made from raw cashews is not the first to be linked to nuts. During the last decade, illnesses from Salmonella have been linked to a variety of nuts including pine nuts, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and almonds.

Pistachio Salmonella AttorneyThe current Salmonella outbreak has sickened 14 people in three states: twelve in California, one in Nevada, and one in Wyoming. Three people have been hospitalized because their illnesses are so serious. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that outbreak strain of Salmonella Stanley is rarely seen outside of Southeast Asia where the cheese maker, Cultured Kitchen of West Sacramento, sources its cashews.

Here’s a look at other recent Salmonella outbreaks linked to nuts.

Between August and October of 2011, 43 people in five states contracted Salmonella infections, called salmonellosis, from imported Turkish pine nuts. The nuts were sold from bulk bins at Wegmen’s grocery stores. Two people were hospitalized. The illnesses were concentrated on the East Coast, where Wegman’s stores are located. By state, the case count was as follows: Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (28), Pennsylvania (8), and Virginia (4).

From December 2010 to February 2011, a food poisoning outbreak was linked to hazelnuts. However, that outbreak, which sickened eight people in three states, was caused by E. coli, not Salmonella.

A 2009 Salmonella outbreak linked to pistachios prompted Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Calif.,  the nation’s second-largest pistachio processor, to recall 2 million pounds of nuts. In 2006, 100 people in South Carolina got Salmonella infections from peanuts sold at a fair. Three people were hospitalized in that outbreak.

From September 2003 to April 2004, 29 people in 12 states and Canada contracted salmonellosis from raw almonds produced by Paramount Farms of Lost Hills, Calif. and sold by retailers including Costco and Trader Joe’s. About 18 million pounds of nuts were recalled.

The number of recent outbreaks prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2013 to issue a request for information that it could use to compile a risk assessment of salmonellosis from tree nuts. The agency will use the risk assessment to create policy and to advise producers and customers in the future.


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