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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising distributors, wholesalers and consumers that a recall of raw almonds due to reports of Salmonella Enteriditis that was announced by Paramount Farms of Lost Hills, Calif., on May 18, 2004, has expanded. Before eating any raw almonds having a "best before" date of Aug. 21, 2004 or later, consumers are advised to check with the store where they purchased the product to see if the almonds came from Paramount Farms.
The FDA has learned that Paramount Farms distributed the recalled almonds in bulk or packaged nationwide to brokers, distributors and grocery store chains which in turn sold the almonds to consumers in a variety of package sizes with a variety brand names. The almonds were also distributed to Mexico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, France, England and Italy.
The almonds have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Enteriditis, an organism that 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. Consumers who are experiencing symptoms that could be salmonellosis should consult their healthcare providers or their local health department.
Paramount Farms announced a limited recall on May 18, 2004 of whole natural raw almonds sold under the Kirkland Signature, Trader Joe's and Sunkist brands. FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state health and agriculture departments are aware of approximately 18 reports of Salmonella Enteriditis possibly related to the consumption of the almonds now under recall. FDA continues to work with CDC and state and local agencies to investigate the source of this outbreak. Individuals who have purchased the recalled raw almonds should not consume them but instead return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
The almonds may be sold under other unknown brand names.