Almost 100 people are part of a Salmonella outbreak linked to nuts used in different products.
There have been 98 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium in different parts of the United Kingdom.
Four alerts for affected items have been published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) including recalls of Lidl GB’s Deluxe Dark Chocolate Muesli Bar with Brazils and cranberries, Eat Natural bars containing Brazil nuts, sultanas, peanuts and almonds and Hema Natural fruit and nut bars, Rude Health Food’s The Ultimate Muesli containing brazil nuts and The Paleo Foods Co. Cocoa and Hazelnut Grain-Free Granola that has Brazil nuts.
Nuts in several products
Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service at Public Health England, said efforts to find the source of contamination were ongoing.
“We have been working closely with the Food Standards Agency as well as health protection and food safety colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to identify the cause of a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak and implement control measures,” he said.
“Epidemiological and microbiological investigations point to contaminated nuts used in several products – investigations to determine the source of the contamination and whether any other products may have been affected continue.”
Phin said FSA has issued a recall for the affected products.
“Anyone who has these products in their home should not eat them and either dispose of them or return them to the retailer for a full refund. Symptoms of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever. Anyone who is concerned about symptoms should contact their GP or out of hours service in the first instance.”
Eat Natural stands by supplier
Praveen Vijh, co-founder of Eat Natural, said: “Our bars are heat treated and this diminishes the likelihood of contamination, but we are taking this matter extremely seriously and taking all steps possible, even though at this stage the notification is very much a precautionary measure.”
Eat Natural would not name the supplier of Brazil nuts when asked by Food Safety News but said it would “absolutely” be working with them again.
“We have worked with them for many years with no issues and enjoy a very good working relationship with them. We are working with them on this current issue to ensure corrective actions are in place. Eat Natural is in discussion with the supplier and will not be purchasing any Brazil nuts until corrective action is implemented and verified,” said a spokesman.
An Environmental Health Officer and the FSA made the firm aware of a potential incident and it then began an internal investigation. Following an audit the contaminated Brazil nuts, which are used as a ready to eat ingredient, tested positive for Salmonella.
The United Kingdom raised a warning about Salmonella Anatum contaminated Brazil nuts from Bolivia in mid-August via a notification on the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). This alert involves more than 30 countries including the United States.
People with Salmonella typically develop symptoms 12 and 36 hours after infection, but this can range between six and 72 hours. The most common is diarrhea, which can sometimes be bloody. Other symptoms may include fever, headache and abdominal cramps. Illness usually lasts four to seven days. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
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