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CDC Revises Pine Nuts Outbreak Numbers

Forty-two people in five states have been infected with Salmonella Enteritidis linked to eating Turkish pine nuts sold in bulk bins at Wegmans grocery stories, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

The CDC update revises an Oct. 26 report, which put the outbreak count at 42 people in six states, and a subsequent report from the Food and Drug Administration, which gave the toll as 43 in seven states.

The CDC’s latest report repeats its warning that consumers should check their refrigerators for Wegmans bulk pine nuts, sold from July 1 to Oct. 18. Don’t eat these nuts, the CDC said, and don’t eat any foods such as pesto, salads or baked goods prepared with them.

Twenty-seven of the cases of Salmonella Enteritidis infection have been reported from New York.  Pennsylvania has reported 8 cases, Virginia 4, New Jersey 2 and Maryland 1. A case reported earlier in Arizona is no longer included in the CDC’s count, and the CDC update does not include cases from California and Washington, as the FDA did.

The illnesses sent two people to the hospital. The onset of the  first outbreak illness  was Aug. 20. The patients range in age from younger than 1 to 94 years. The median age is 43. Sixty percent of the patients are female. 

Among 39 people for whom information is available, 27 (69 percent) said they ate Turkish pine nuts, or foods such as Caprese salad or asparagus with pine nuts, in the week before they became ill. 

Shopper cards were used to help identify which foods were possible sources of illness, and those receipt records also indicated that many of those sickened had purchased the Wegmans pine nuts. 

Public health labs in Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania found the outbreak stain of Salmonella in multiple samples of Turkish pine nuts or in pesto containing the pine nuts collected from Wegmans bulk bins or from patients’ homes.

The CDC said it is working with the FDA and state officials to investigate the source of the Turkish pine nuts and to determine whether they went to retailers besides Wegmans.

Wegmans recalled about 5,000 pounds of pine nuts sold in its stores in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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CDC Outbreak Map

© Food Safety News
  • Ben Mark

    It’s hard to believe the importer sold these contaminated pine nuts only to Wegmans.