In a press release dated December 17, a FDA recall was announced for Willamette Filbert Growers of Newberg, OR, of 29,861 lbs of their Shelled Hazelnuts and Shelled Organic Hazelnuts. During product testing, one lot of nuts was found to contain salmonella. As a precautionary measure, Willamette Filbert Growers is recalling all shelled hazelnuts and shelled organic hazelnuts processed from October 12th, 2009, through November 25th, 2009. All products subject to recall were packed in 25 lbs. corrugated boxes bearing Willamette Filbert Growers or Meridian Organic Hazelnuts labels and with lot code numbers 289091A and 311091A.
The Wilmamette Growers ship their products to various retailers in states across the U.S. an Canada. Due to this recall, grocery chain Whole Foods Market is also recalling hazelnuts from its stores in California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Ben Mitchell, president of Willamette Shelling and manager of Willamette Filbert Growers, tells WebMD that in addition to Whole Foods, Willamette's nuts are on the market under the brand names Kunze Farms, Evonuk Oregon Hazelnuts, Canadian Hazelnuts, and Firestone Farms.
Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems and in young children, frail or elderly people. Relatively healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Rarely, a salmonella infection can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis.
This recall is precautionary and no illnesses have been reported. The FDA asks consumers who may have already purchased any recalled nuts from Willamette Filbert Growers Shelled Hazelnuts or Meridian Organic Hazelnuts to return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Ben Mitchell at (503) 538-9256, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST.