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Turkish pine nuts linked to 43 salmonella infections nationwide

October 28, 2011 |  4:41 pm

Wegmans Food Markets is recalling about 5,000 pounds of Turkish pine nuts sold in bulk after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked the product to 43 salmonella infections since July. 

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating whether other suppliers and grocery chains across the country might also have the contaminated pine nuts. The illnesses have been reported in California, Washington, Maryland, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but no deaths have been linked to the product.

Pesto, salad and other baked products that might have been made with the bulk pine nuts should also be thrown away, according to the FDA warning.

The nuts have been contaminated by Salmonella enteritidis, which causes abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever, usually beginning 12 to 72 hours after exposure. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment.

But sometimes the diarrhea is so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. The infection can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other parts of the body and in rare cases can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. Children, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable.

The grocery chain received the pine nuts from Sunrise Commodities of Englewood Cliffs, N.J. The FDA is still tracking down where else the company has distributed the product.

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-- Alexa Vaughn in Washington, D.C.

 

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