Australia’s food safety and standards regulatory body is warning the public about the potential danger of certain raw almonds that may be contaminated with Salmonella, according to a Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) media release Oct. 23.
Australia federal, state and local health authorities are investigating a salmonella outbreak linked to certain batches of raw almonds supplied by Select Harvests. The FSANZ warning comes after 27 confirmed or suspected cases of salmonella poisoning were reported in six states and territories.
According to FSANZ Deputy Chief Executive Officer Melanie Fisher, “There have been two recalls associated with this outbreak, one conducted nationally by Woolworths and one in southeast Queensland by Flannerys.”
Officials say the affected products recalled were supplied by Select Harvests and sold as Woolworths Almond Kernels (with best before dates of 05/02/13; 06/04/13; 07/04/13; 12/04/13) and as Flannerys Own Almonds in 500gm and 1kg zip-lock sealed pouch (with best before dates between 02/07/13 and 05/10/13).
Food safety officials say consumers should check the brand of almonds in their pantry and if the product had been recalled they should either dispose of any remaining product or return packets to the place of purchase for a full refund. If consumers have almonds in their pantry and are unsure of the source then they should consider disposing of the product.
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.
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