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CDC calls an end to investigation over pistachio outbreak

The outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo and Salmonella Senftenberg associated with Wonderful Pistachios that touched nine states is apparently over. It sickened 11 people and sent two to hospitals. There were no deaths.

As a result of the outbreak investigation, Lost Hills, CA-based Wonderful Pistachios on March 9, 2016 recalled a limited number of flavors and sizes of in shell and shelled pistachios.

pistachios_406x250While the outbreak investigation has ended, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the long shelf life of pistachios means consumers might still have the recalled product in their homes and further sicknesses could result if they are consumed.

The pistachios were sold under various brand names including Wonderful, Paramount Farms, and Trader Joe’s in Canada, Mexico and Peru.

CDC has worked the investigation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and several state and local health departments. The outbreak investigation concluded Wonderful Pistachios were the likely source of the two Salmonella strains.

Investigators  used both pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) techniques in reaching their conclusion, tapping into the national PulseNet database.

The illnesses began on dates ranging from Jan. 3, 2016 to March 25, 2916, The ages of people stricken managed from 27 to 69, with a median age of 41. Men accounted for 64 percent of the cases.

Eight of ten victims interviewed could remembered eating pistachios during the week before they became sick.

 

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