More than 200 people gathered in the Veterans Memorial Hall in Yuba City, California, to talk about walnuts last month. The annual Walnut Day run by the University of California Cooperative Extension brought walnut growers and university extension specialists together to talk about food safety, regulations, and the state of the walnut industry on February 5.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increases inspections and growers focus on food safety, the walnut industry is focusing on traceability. “We need to be able to track it from the farm all the way to the fork,” said Jennifer Getz, marketing director for the California Walnut Board.
Several varieties of tree nuts have been recalled for potential Salmonella contamination in recent years; almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios have all graced the FDA recall page. Experts are trying to determine how Salmonella bacteria contaminate tree nuts so better prevention measures can be implemented.