Attention, West Coast Whole Foods Shoppers: Your Macadamia Nuts may be Contaminated with Salmonella
Whole Foods has another recall on its hands. Only a few days removed from a recall of pasta salad contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, Whole Foods is pulling raw macadamia nuts from shelves in its California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state locations due to the possibility that the product is contaminated with Salmonella.
Whole Foods’ supplier Marin Foods Specialities, Inc. initiated the recall after “routine testing conducted by an FDA-contracted laboratory . . . determined that the raw macadamia nuts” tested positive for Salmonella, according to the copy of Marin Foods’ recall announcement posted on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website.
Distribution of the product by the supplier was geographically limited to Whole Foods Market stores located in the states of Washington, California, Oregon and Nevada. Customers who purchased the raw macadamia nuts, labeled as “Whole Foods Market Raw Macadamia Nuts,” at a Whole Foods store located in any one of those states are instructed to “discard [the product]” and, if desired, to bring the purchase receipt to Whole Foods for a full refund.
The recalled nuts were packaged in clear, plastic 6 oz. tubs with snap-on lids. The affected containers are labeled with a “Best By” date between 8/21/16 and 11/6/16, UPC code number 99948200132, and the product description “Whole Foods Market Raw Macadamia Nuts.”
A consumer that is unsure whether t’he product in their possession is subject to the recall – which often occurs when the adhesive product label is partially or totally removed upon opening – is encouraged to dispose of the food in accordance with the rule of thumb used by federal public health agencies: “If you’re not sure that the food is safe, remember this saying: ‘If in doubt, throw it out.'”
Déjà Vu: Whole Foods Forced to Recall Salmonella-Contaminated Raw Macadamia Nuts in June 2015
Whole Foods announced a recall almost identical to the one currently being conducted less than one year – 361 days, to be precise – before this one was initiated.
In both 2015 and 2016, the recalled product was packaged in plastic tubs and labeled as “Whole Foods Market Raw Macadamia Nuts.” Both recalls came after positive Salmonella tests by an FDA-contracted laboratory led to concerns of Salmonella contamination.
The only notable difference between the present recall, which is being conducted by the supplier of the macadamia nuts, and the 2015 recall, which was conducted by Whole Foods, is how widely the macadamia nuts were distributed.
The June 25, 2015 Whole Foods press release – “Whole Foods Market Voluntarily Recalls Packaged Raw Macadamia Nuts Due To Possible Health Risk” – found in the FDA recall archives indicates that the macadamia nuts recalled last year were distributed to 12 states, including two of the four states involved in the 2016 recall. According to the 2015 release, “[recalled] items were sold in AR, AZ, CA, CO, HI, KS, LA, NM, NV, OK, TX, and UT Whole Foods Market Stores.”
Salmonella: Signs and Symptoms, Treatment, and Potential Complications
A brief review of the symptoms of a Salmonella infection should easily sway any consumer entertaining the idea of keeping food that may be subject to a recall to swiftly dispose of the potentially contaminated product.
According to the recall notice, healthy individuals infected with Salmonella “often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.” In addition, Salmonella bacteria possess the ability to enter the bloodstream of the infected individual, “producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis,” and may be fatal if not swiftly treated with antibiotics. In young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems, the pathogen can cause acute and potentially fatal infections even if the bacteria never enter the bloodstream.