Just when you thought your food was safe from foodborne illnesses, another salmonella outbreak hits! This time, the food in question is Wegmans Food Markets Inc.’s Turkish Pine Nuts which have been linked to the latest outbreak causing at least 43 people to become ill in seven states. No deaths have been reported at this time.
The pine nuts were sold in the Wegmans New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland based stores between July 1st and October 18th and were found in unlabeled bulk containers and may be present in foods prepared at Wegmans including some baked goods, pesto, and salads.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Wegmans has voluntarily recalled over 5,000 pounds of their pine nuts to prevent further illness. The pine nuts are suggested to be contaminated with Salmonella Enterditis, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infection in populations considered to be at high risk. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with a compromised immune system are all considered to be at higher risk for infection. Individuals who are relatively healthy typically experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain after eating something with salmonella bacteria present in high levels.
Consumers are being urged to check their kitchens for Turkish pine nuts purchased in bulk during the time period specified and to throw away or return the pine nuts in question to their local Wegmans store for a refund. Consumers can also contact Wegmans Consumer Affairs department with any questions they may have at 1-800-WEGMANS Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm ET.
The FDA is working diligently with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local officials to determine the source of the pine nuts contamination and to determine if they were indeed distributed to other retailers. As the investigation continues, the FDA will provide updates as needed.
Foodborne illness is a common occurrence. For tips on how to protect you and your family, check out a few of our food safety features here on Diets in Review. They are a great place to start when looking to become more food safe.