The great hazelnut/Salmonella caper

Nuts seem to have lots of Salmonella issues. The pathogen persists nicely in the low-moisture environment and the roasting process (which is done without water) makes the bug even more hardy. Peanut butter has had well-documented problems; so have pistachios and walnuts. But why all the hazelnut focus in Canada? Over the past 6 months, Canada’s esteemed food police, CFIA, lists five Salmonella-linked health alerts linked to hazelnuts (also known as filberts) including one announced yesterday.Blanched Filberts

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain in shell hazelnuts described below because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Products were sold in packages of various weights or in bulk at the locations indicated here. Consumers who are unsure if they have affected product are advised to check with their retailer (listed as Luciano foods, Il Negozio Nicastro and the aptly-named Cananut -ben).

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.
These recalls are part of an on-going food safety investigation associated with a recall of bulk hazelnuts from USA. The CFIA is working with the recalling firms and distributors to identify all affected products.

The importer, distributers (sic), and retailers are voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Other recalls occurred on December 2, 2012; December 5, 2012; April 4, 2013; and, April 10, 2013. A couple of these list the origin of the product as the U.S., a couple don’t. If I was in the nut-selling business I’d probably like to know if they are all coming from the same source (and who the importer is). Although the industry doesn’t always like to share that stuff.

This entry was posted in Food Safety Culture, Salmonella and tagged , , , by Ben Chapman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.