A series of Trader Joe’s brand walnut products may contain salmonella, the bacteria that causes salmonellosis, an infection that can lead to illnesses like typhoid fever, the supermarket chain announced on Tuesday. All of the products are under the Trader Joe’s Nuts brand and were distributed to the market chain's stores across the United States.
The contamination was discovered during an independent health inspection contracted by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA suggests consumers throw the products away or return them to a Trader Joe’s store for a full refund. The exact products being recalled are:
Raw California Walnut Pieces, UPC Code: 00373685
Raw California Walnut Halves & Pieces, UPC Code: 00943338
Raw California Walnut Baking Pieces, UPC Code: 519342
Raw California Premium Walnut Halves, UPC Code: 00519328
Organic Raw Walnut Halves & Pieces, UPC Code 00586627
For a full list of product info, including Best By dates and lot numbers, see Trader Joe’s press release. The market chain reported no complaints of illnesses related to its walnut products as of March 17.
“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,” according to the FDA.
While most healthy people will experience food poisoning, salmonellosis is far more dangerous to the elderly and young children, who do not have a robust immune system to fight off the bacteria. In all cases, it can take months for the digestive system to fully recover from an infection.
“The rate of diagnosed infections in children less than 5 years old is about five times higher than the rate in all other persons,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Young children, the elderly and the immunocompromised are the most likely to have severe infections. It is estimated that approximately 400 persons die each year with acute salmonellosis.”
Salmonella is most commonly found in animal products that have not been fully cooked. An average of 400,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported every year, but because many mild cases go unreported, the CDC estimates that number may be 30 or more times greater.