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Tainted Pine Nuts Recall Expands to 21,000 Pounds

More than 21,000 pounds of pine nuts are being recalled after evidence of Salmonella contamination was found in samples from Sunrise Commodities, the distributor who sold them in bulk to food vendors in Florida, New Jersey, New York and Canada.

The Turkish pine nuts are implicated in an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis that has sickened at least 42 people across 5 states. No deaths have been reported, but 2 people have been hospitalized.

The expanded recall announcement, issued Friday afternoon, comes more than a week after a 5,000-pound recall of pine nuts sold in bulk bins and used in prepared foods at Wegmans Food Markets in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia between July 1 and Oct. 18.

In a news release, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to eat the Turkish pine nuts distributed by Sunrise Commodities, which is based in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.  The FDA said its tests confirmed Salmonella in samples collected from a Sunrise Commodities warehouse; additional testing is underway to determine if the Salmonella matches the outbreak strain.

Public health labs had already found the outbreak strain of Salmonella in multiple samples of pine nuts or in pesto made with the pine nuts collected from Wegmans stores and from patients’ homes.

The expanded recall includes four lots of pine nuts packed in 22-pound boxes with these markings:

– Warehouse Lot 27963 with the identifying code “PO#: 50165″

– Warehouse Lot 29628 with the identifying code “PO#: 50558″

– Warehouse Lot 27713 with the identifying code “PO#: 49595″

– Warehouse Lot 27427 with the identifying code “PO#: 50032″

The FDA said Sunrise Commodities alerted its customers on Thursday to the results of the product tests and epidemiologic investigation, and asked them to notify their subsequent customers of the recall.

One of those was Badia Spices, which said it had repacked the Sunrise Commodities pine nuts and sold them in retail stores in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey between June and October.

In a separate news release, Badia Spices said it is recalling about 3,800 pounds of the following lots:

– (UPC) 033844 00068 –  1 oz Pine nuts in small plastic bags Lot # 84666

– (UPC) 033844 00733 –  2 oz Pine nuts in PET bottles Lot # 83184, 85442

For more information on that recall consumers may contact Badia Spices at 305-629-8000 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST Monday through Friday or via email: info@badiaspices.com.

Publix is recalling pine nuts supplied by Badia Spices. The recalled pine nuts were sold in 1-oz small plastic bags (Lot #84666) and 2-oz PET bottles (Lot #83184 and 85442).

Meanwhile, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning the public not to eat certain David Roberts brand and Sysco brand pine nuts that may be contaminated with Salmonella. See the news release describing the products here.

The FDA said “additional recalls may take place.” Unlike the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which routinely publishes retail distribution lists, FDA officials generally recommend that consumers ask their retailers about recalled products.

“If consumers have Turkish pine nuts or products containing Turkish pine nuts and are not sure if the pine nuts are part of Sunrise Commodities’ recall,” the FDA advised in its news release, “then they should contact the store where the food item was purchased or throw the product away.”

© Food Safety News
  • Ben Mark

    I was wondering yesterday about the distribution chain of the nuts. Is’nt there a traceup from the importer to all buyers in a few minutes to get the contaminaed food out of the supply chain. It’s like every time when a contamination is discovered. It starts out with a few pounds and a few sick people. Then it gets bigger and bigger and after a few months with more sick and dead people no one can find the actual source. Aren’t there laws in place that require traceback throughout the whole supply chain like COOL?
    What was done between July 1 and Oct. 18, besides making people sick?