California Almonds May Contain Dangerous Bacteria : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Saturday, May 19, 2001

Almonds may contain dangerous bacteria

TORONTO (CP) -- Almonds sitting in Canadian cupboards may be contaminated with salmonella bacteria, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency warned Friday.

The whole, unroasted California or caramel almonds have reddish brown skins and have been sold in bulk across the country since March 9.

The food agency is warning that the nuts are not safe for human or animal consumption, and should be discarded.

Importer BakeMark Ingredients Canada has voluntarily recalled the almonds from stores, but the agency warns that some have already been sold to consumers.

Illnesses associated with the nuts have been reported.

Food contaminated with salmonella bacteria may not look or smell spoiled.

Common symptoms of salmonella infection are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

-- Rachel Gibson (, May 19, 2001


The quuestion is: how did the nuts get contaminated? Were the treees fertilized with raw chicken manure? Any nuts picked up off the ground would be contaminated.

-- John Littmann (, May 19, 2001.

Almonds taste much better roasted anyway. I found this out only after paying premium prices in the 1980s not knowing this. And now it's a good safety precaution also. Won't proper cooking (roasting) kill dangerous bacteria and make almonds safe (at least if kept refrigerated and deemed perishable thereafter)? Or does dangerous toxin remain?

-- Robert Riggs (, May 20, 2001.

Roasting should be sufficient to kill Salmonella bacteria (this particular pathogen doesn't make a toxin that is then present in the food--it's the living bacteria that get inside you and can cause illness).

The only problem, as always, is making sure that once the food item is treated to eliminate pathogens (roasted in this case), it is not re-contaminated before you eat it. Modern processing equipment should prevent re-contamination, except when mistakes occur.

-- Andre Weltman, M.D. (, May 21, 2001.

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