Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Pistachios From California: CDC

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Pistachios sit on a table March 31, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

At least 11 people in nine states have been infected in a salmonella outbreak linked to California-grown pistachios, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday.

Pistachios sold under the brand names of Paramount Farms, Trader Joe’s and Wonderful have been recalled by the grower due to the risk of salmonella montevideo contamination.

The pistachios were sold nationwide and in Canada in a number of flavors and sizes of in-shell and shelled varieties.

Wonderful Pistachios, based in Lost Hills, said the products have a 13-digit lot code. The numbers are available on the company’s website through a link in a news release about the recall.

“Wonderful Pistachios takes food safety matters very seriously and is working closely with health officials to identify the source of the problem,” the company said.

People began getting ill on December 12, the CDC said. Those sickened ranged in age from 9 to 69.

The states involved were Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Virginia and Washington.

Two of those sickened had to be hospitalized, the CDC said.

“Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local and federal public health and regulatory officials indicate that pistachios produced by Wonderful Pistachios are a likely source of this outbreak,” the CDC said.

Consumers affected by the recall can return the lot code portion of the packaging by mail or to the store at which they bought the nuts to get a refund. Wonderful advised consumers to throw the pistachios away.

The CDC said the investigation is ongoing.

Salmonella is responsible for 1 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States annually, including 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths.

Illness begins between 12 and 72 hours after exposure to the salmonella bacteria. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps and last four to seven days.

Salmonella is an organism that causes abdominal pain, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), and fever.