27 sick; almonds linked to Australian salmonella outbreak

It’s mildly entertaining to go to the shops in Brisbane and guess what 1980s song will be playing as background, while Amy dresses like Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan and inflicts the same on Sorenne.

But it’s annoying to think Australians are stuck in the mid-1980s when it comes to communicating about food safety.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today urged consumers to check their pantries for raw almonds that might be contaminated with Salmonella, while revealing that at least 27 people were sick.

When Woolworths announced a recall of the almonds earlier this month several people from southeast Queensland e-mailed me and said, oh yeah, we got sick.

A couple of weeks later and there’s now 27 sick.

So, health types, when did you know people were sick, when did you make the association with almonds, who grew and processed the almonds, what preventative measures were taken by growers and the industry, given the history of Salmonella-related almond outbreaks in California, and what is your policy on informing the public about potential health risks?

Or should we all just go back to sleep?

Deputy FSANZ chief executive Melanie Fisher said, “The food recalls were notified earlier this month but we want to ensure consumers are carefully checking their pantries as packaged raw almonds are often bought to use later.”

I don’t know who talks like that, but I’m still learning Australian.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time