FDA Confirms Salmonella in Turkish Pine Nuts

We’ve been following the growing issue with Turkish pine nuts and contamination with the dangerous <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">Salmonella pathogen. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a consumer warning against eating Turkish pine nuts distributed by Sunrise Commodities, which based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Agency tests confirmed the presence of Salmonella on the Turkish pine nuts and, as a result, the FDA is collaborating with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as State public health and agriculture officials to investigate what has become a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections.

To date, said the CDC at least 42 illnesses have been reported in this outbreak and have originated from Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The FDA collected samples of Turkish pine nuts from a warehouse used by Sunrise Commodities. Additional testing is in progress on the FDA’s Salmonella-positive samples of pine nuts to determine if the Salmonella matches the outbreak strain.

FDA’s State partners collected samples of Turkish pine nuts distributed by Sunrise Commodities; some tested positive for Salmonella and matched the outbreak strain. Since, Sunrise Commodities issued a recall for four lots of the implicated product, totaling more than 21,000 pounds of pine nuts:

• Warehouse Lot 27963; identifying code “PO#: 50165” (22-pound boxes)
• Warehouse Lot 29628; identifying code “PO#: 50558” (22-pound boxes)
• Warehouse Lot 27713; identifying code “PO#: 49595” (22-pound boxes)
• Warehouse Lot 27427; identifying code “PO#: 50032,” (in bulk to various food vendors in Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Canada)

Sunrise Commodities issued a recall notification to its customers dated November 3, 2011, alerting them of the test results and of the epidemiologic investigation and asking them to notify their subsequent customers of the recall.

Wegmans Food Markets, one of the companies that received Turkish pine nuts distributed by Sunrise Commodities, issued a recall on October 26,2011 for about 5,000 pounds of the product sold in the bulk foods departments in most of its New York stores. Additional recalls are expected as the investigation continues, noted the FDA.

The FDA advises consumers to review their homes, including refrigerators and freezers, for the recalled Turkish pine nuts. Consumers in possession of the recalled pine nuts or products containing the recalled Turkish pine nuts and who are not sure if the pine nuts are part of the recall, should contact the store where the pine nuts were purchased or dispose of the potentially contaminated product in such a way that children and animals cannot access it.

The most common symptoms of salmonellosis—Salmonella infection—are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever with symptoms manifesting, usually, within six to 72 hours. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required. Sometimes, infection with the Salmonella pathogen can result in, and produce more, severe or chronic illnesses. Salmonella, can be dangerous, sometimes deadly, leaving sufferers with serious life-long health issues. Salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial food borne illnesses, can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.

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