Food

FDA Investigated Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Wonderful Pistachio

May 20, 2016

On this page:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella infections.

Update

On May 20, 2016, CDC declared this outbreak investigation over.

What was the Problem and What was Done About It?

The FDA, CDC, state and local officials investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to pistachio nuts produced by Wonderful Pistachios, located in Lost Hills, California.

The CDC reports that 11 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Montevideo (9) and Salmonella Senftenberg (2) have been reported from nine states: Connecticut (1), Georgia (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), North Dakota (1), New York (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (2). Two people have been hospitalized. There have been no deaths.

Collaborative investigation efforts of the FDA, CDC, and state partners indicated that pistachio nuts produced by Wonderful Pistachios were the likely source of this outbreak.

On February 10, 2016, laboratory analysis isolated the outbreak strains of Salmonella Montevideo and Senftenberg from pistachio products collected from two firms that were supplied by Wonderful Pistachios.  Whole genome sequencing determined both product isolates were highly related to clinical isolates.

On March 8, 2016, FDA and California State partners initiated an inspection of Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds, LLC, where they collected product and environmental samples in response to the outbreak investigation.

Following a conference call with the FDA and the CDC on March 9, 2016, Wonderful Pistachio initiated a voluntary recall of a limited number of flavors and sizes of in-shell and shelled pistachios because they may have been contaminated with Salmonella. The recalled pistachio nuts were sold under the brand names Wonderful, Trader Joe’s, and Paramount Farms and were sold nationwide and in Mexico, Peru and Canada. The FDA worked with the firm to facilitate the recall.

Laboratory testing, conducted by FDA and state partners, isolated Salmonella Senftenberg from raw pistachio product collected during the Wonderful Pistachio facility inspection. WGS analysis showed that the Salmonella Senftenberg strain found in the raw products was nearly indistinguishable to the Salmonella strains found in ill people and in the Salmonella positive pistachio samples found at the firms supplied by Wonderful Pistachios.

On May 20, 2016, CDC declared this outbreak investigation over. However, the recalled pistachios produced by Wonderful pistachios have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s homes. Consumers should not eat the recalled products and instead should throw them away.

back to top

What are the Symptoms of Salmonella Infection?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.

How Soon do Symptoms Appear After Exposure?

Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection.

What are the Complications of Salmonella Infections?

In some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.

Who is at Risk?

Children are the most likely to get salmonellosis. The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than five years old is higher than the rate in all other people. Children younger than five, the elderly, and those people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons in the United States die each year from acute salmonellosis.

back to top

What Specific Products were Recalled?

Product DescriptionBrandUPCUnit WTCode Date / Lot NumberLot Code Location
Roasted No Salt Inshell PistachiosWonderful01411391006416oz2016 OCT 26 – 150912325560115091232557011509123255901
2016 OCT 27 – 1509123256001
back of the bag - bottom left
Roasted No Salt Inshell PistachiosWonderful0141139101878oz10/26/2016 - 1509123259601Back of the bag - bottom left
Roasted No Salt Inshell PistachiosWonderful014113913652200g2016/10/26 - 1509123260301Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted No Salt Inshell PistachiosWonderful014113912532225g2016/10/26 - 1509123256901Back of the bag - bottom left
Roasted Salt and Pepper Inshell PistachiosWonderfulBag: 014113910293
Box: 014113913362
4.5oz2016 NOV 05 - 1510123307001Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted Salted Inshell PistachiosWonderfulBag: 014113911856
Box: 014113911863
1.5 oz10/26/16 – 1509123256701
10/28/16 - 1509123256801
Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted Salted Inshell PistachiosWonderful01411391197924 oz2016 OCT 27 – 1509123260601
2016 NOV 02 - 1510123304901
Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted Salted Inshell PistachiosWonderfulBag: 014113910088
Box: 014113910156
5 oz2016 OCT 30 - 1509123289801Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted Salted Inshell PistachiosWonderful01411391370613 oz2016 NOV 02 - 1510123304801On clear bag - bottom that has back seal
Roasted Salted Inshell PistachiosWonderful01411391363840 oz11/05/2016 - 1510123332601Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted Salted Shelled PistachiosWonderful0141137340666oz10/26/2016 - 1509123260401Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted Salted Shelled PistachiosWonderfulBag: 014113910132
Box: 014113913386
2.5oz2016 NOV 02 - 1510123295001Back of the bag - bottom left
Roasted Salted Shelled PistachiosWonderful01411391012524oz2016 NOV 04 – 1510123331501
2016 NOV 02 – 1510123305001
Bottom of the bag
Roasted Salted Shelled PistachiosWonderful0141137340666 oz11/02/2016 - 1510123295301Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted Salted Shelled PistachiosWonderful014113912044225g2016/10/27 - 1509123259801Back of the bag - bottom left
Roasted Sweet Chili PistachiosWonderfulBag: 014113913331
Box: 014113913348
1.25oz2016 NOV 04 - 1510123307901back of the bag - bottom left
Roasted Sweet Chili PistachiosWonderfulBag: 014113910309
Box: 014113913379
4.5oz2016 NOV 05 - 1510123308101Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted Salted Inshell PistachiosWonderfulBag: 014113912839
Box: 014113910323
1 oz2016 OCT 26 – 1509123255401
2016 OCT 29 – 1509123255501
2016 NOV 02 - 1510123294801
Back of the bag - bottom right
Roasted Salted Inshell PistachiosWonderful0001411391025525 lbs2016/11/02 – 1510123294601
2016/11/05 – 1510123332501
side box
Roasted Salted Inshell PistachiosParamount FarmsNA25 lbs2016 OCT 27 – 1509123280901
2016 NOV 05 - 1510123332401
side box
50% Less Salt Dry Roasted & Salted Inshell PistachiosTrader Joe's0011134816 oz2016 OCT 28 – 1509123256501
2016 OCT 28 – 1509123256401
2016 OCT 29 – 1509123256601
2016 NOV 03 – 1510123307101
2016 NOV 04 – 15101233072011510123307301
Back of the bag - bottom right
Dry Roasted & Unsalted Inshell PistachiosTrader Joe's0007999016oz2016 OCT 27 – 1509123256101
2016 OCT 28 – 15091232562011509123256301
Back of the bag - bottom right
Dry Roasted & Salted Inshell Pistachios  Trader Joe's0007998316 oz2016 OCT 28 – 15091232599011509123260001
2016 OCT 29 – 1509123260101
2016 NOV 03 - 1510123294901
Back of the bag - bottom right

back to top

What Do Restaurants and Retailers Need To Do?

Restaurants and retailers should not sell or utilize any recalled pistachio nuts from the specific lots listed above. Restaurants and retailers should dispose of any of the listed pistachios by throwing them in the garbage. Restaurants and retailers should also be aware that the recalled pistachios may be a source of pathogens and should control the potential for cross–contamination of food processing equipment and the food processing environment. They should follow the steps below:

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
  • Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators who have processed and packaged any potentially contaminated products need to be concerned about cross contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with the potentially contaminated products.
  • Regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces and utensils used in food preparation may help to minimize the likelihood of cross–contamination.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

People should not eat any pistachio nuts from the lots listed above. If they have any of the listed pistachios, they should throw them in the garbage.

People who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated pistachio nuts should talk to their health care providers.

Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food.

For food preparation surfaces and food cutting utensils that may have come in contact with the potentially contaminated pistachio nuts, it is very important that the consumers thoroughly clean these areas and items.

back to top

Who Should be Contacted?

People who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated pistachio nuts should talk to their health care providers. Contact your healthcare provider if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days, or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.

People should not eat any pistachio nuts from the lots listed above. If they have any of the listed pistachios, they should throw them in the garbage.

People who have these recalled Wonderful Pistachios can call (844) 505–3955. People may return these products to Wonderful Pistachios for a refund by sending the back or bottom portion of the package that contains the lot code (see photo below) to Wonderful Pistachios, 13646 Hwy 33, Lost Hills, CA 93249. If consumers prefer, they may return the product to the store from which it was purchased for a refund. Consumers should discard the nuts prior to returning the entire package or lot code panel to their retail store.

The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1–888–SAFEFOOD or consult the fda.gov website: http://www.fda.gov.


The information in this release reflects the FDA’s best efforts to communicate what it has learned from the manufacturer and the state and local public health agencies involved in the investigation. The agency will update this page as more information becomes available.

For more information:

back to top

Page Last Updated: 05/20/2016
Note: If you need help accessing information in different file formats, see Instructions for Downloading Viewers and Players.