Multistate Salmonella outbreak tied to pistachios sickens 11

Wonderful Pistachios of Lost Hills, Calif., has recalled multiple lots of its pistachios after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed late yesterday that 11 people in nine states have become infected by Salmonella Montevideo tied to the nuts.

The pistachios have been sold under several brand names in the United States and Canada, including Trader Joe's.

Two patients hospitalized

The people affected by the outbreak range in age from 9 to 69 years, with a median age of 31, the CDC said. Eight are male. Illness-onset dates range from Dec 15, 2015, to Feb 9. Illnesses that occurred after Feb 11 might not yet be reported, though, because of the typical lag time in reporting.

Two of the patients required hospitalization, but none have died, the CDC said.

Of nine patients who were interviewed, eight said they ate pistachios in the week before they got sick. (One in eight would be the expected ratio in healthy people.) When asked about the specific brand, five could recall eating Wonderful brand pistachios.

In addition, recent lab tests isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Montevideo from samples of raw pistachios collected from Paramount Farms, where Wonderful pistachios are grown, the CDC said. Paramount Farms, a leading almond and pistachio grower, has several farms in California. The CDC did not specify the location of the facility that tested positive for the pathogen.

"Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory officials indicate that pistachios produced by Wonderful Pistachios of Lost Hills, California, are a likely source of this outbreak," the CDC said in the outbreak notice.

The agency added, "This investigation is ongoing, and we will update the public when more information becomes available. CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill people and to interview those people about foods they ate before they got sick."

FDA lists products, code numbers

Wonderful Pistachios yesterday recalled a number of lots of its pistachios in response to the outbreak and positive test, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted yesterday.

Recalled bags range in size from 2.5 ounces to 25 pounds and include roasted in-shell and shelled nuts, including some flavored pistachios. The FDA in the recall statement lists the recalled products and their lot code numbers.

The pistachios were sold by several retailers nationwide and in Canada under the Wonderful, Paramount Farms, and Trader Joe's labels.

Customers may return the packaging to the company or retailer for a refund but should discard the nuts first, the recall notice says.

See also:

Mar 9 CDC notice

Mar 9 FDA recall notice

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