August 7, 2020

Whole Foods Recalls Raw Almonds for Hydrogen Cyanide

raw-almond-cyanide-recallOrganic Raw Almonds (bitter almonds) sold at Whole Foods stores in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Reno, Nevada and Boise are being recalled for elevated levels of naturally occurring hydrogen cyanide. At the time of the recall, no illnesses had been reported according to laboratory test results, but consumers who have purchased these nuts should not eat them.

The nuts, imported from Italy and Spain and distributed by Marin Foods Specialties, Inc. of Byron, Calif., are described in the recall notice as “the wild form of the edible sweet almonds.”  Bitter almonds contain  glycoside amygdalin,  chemical which creates hydrogen cyanide when the almonds are crushed or chewed.

Eating foods that contain hydrogen cyanide may cause illness with symptoms including: dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, restlessness, and weakness. In cases of exposure to higher quantities, more serious health effects including convulsions, loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, lung injury, slow heart rate, and respiratory failure leading to death can occur.Consumers who have eaten this product and experienced these symptoms should see a doctor.

The products, labeled as “Whole Foods Market Organic Raw Almonds Imported from Italy” and “Whole Foods Market Organic Raw Almonds Imported from Spain,” and were packaged in 13.5 oz. plastic tubs with “sell-by” dates from 4/18/15 to 6/7/15 and a UPC code of UPC 9-99482-00071-7. Click the previous link for a full list of all the stores where the product was sold.

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