Trader Joe’s Pistachio Salmonella Outbreak Sickens 11

3 recalls issued after salmonella pistachio outbreak sickens 11 people in nine states.March 10, 2016 — An outbreak of Salmonella linked to Trader Joe’s pistachios has sickened 11 people in nine states, according to an update from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Wonderful Pistachios, a California-based company that supplies Trader Joe’s with pistachios, said the recall is voluntary. The pistachios were sold throughout the United States under the following brands:

  • Wonderful
  • Paramount Farms
  • Trader Joe’s

The first case was reported on December 12, 2015. Illnesses that occurred after February 11, 2016 might not be reported because it takes 2-4 weeks.

Case Count by State: Alabama (1), Arizona (2), Connecticut (1), Georgia (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), North Dakota (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (2).

Two people were hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported. Eight out of nine (89%) of people who were interviewed reported eating pistachios in the week before getting sick. When asked about the brand, five people said they ate Wonderful brand pistachios. Lab testing isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella at Paramount Farms, where Wonderful pistachios are grown.

The pistachios were roasted and sold in-shell or shelled, with flavorings like salt and pepper, roasted sweet chili, low salt, and no salt. They had “Best By” dates between October and November 2016. Click here for a list of lot numbers (PDF).

On February 1, 2016, Braga Organic Farms recalled pistachio kernels, trail mix, and nut mixes due to possible Salmonella contamination. Products were sold in California, Oregon, and Washington. No illnesses were reported.

On February 12, 2016, the FDA recalled raw shelled pistachio nuts sold by International Foodsource, LLC due to Salmonella. The products were distributed to food service and retail stores nationwide:

  • Bulk Raw Whole Pistachios (30-lb boxes)
  • Valued Naturals Raw Pistachio Kernels (5-oz bags)
  • IFS Club Bag Pistachio Raw Shelled (3-lb bags)
  • IFS Web Bulk Pistachio Shelled (30-lb boxes)

Healthy people infected with Salmonella can experience fever, diarrhea (may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. According to the FDA, infections can also cause severe complications or even death:

“In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.”

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