Hazelnut (Filbert) Recall Hits Whole Foods Market and Other Retailers

Sellers nationwide are pulling hazelnuts from store shelves and alerting customers to the possibility of salmonella contamination in the wake of a hazelnut (filbert) recall announced last week.

A total of 114,350 pounds of shelled hazelnuts were recalled by Willamette Shelling of Newberg, OR, after inspections discovered salmonella contamination which could expose consumers to salmonella poisoning from the hazelnuts.

The nuts have been sold under a number of brand names and through a number of retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Evonuk Oregon Hazelnuts, Willamette Filbert Growers, Kunze Farms, Canadian Hazelnuts and Firestone Farms.

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Salmonella is a type of bacteria that attacks the gastrointestinal tract, causing mild to severe food poisoning infections. For most healthy adults, symptoms of food poisoning from salmonella typically resolve after a few days or weeks. However, young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems have an increased risk of suffering severe food poisoning after ingesting the bacteria. If not properly treated, some cases of salmonella food poisoning can lead to hospitalization, dehydration or death. There have been no illnesses reported in connection with the hazelnut salmonella contamination.

The hazelnut recall affected one production lot of shelled hazelnuts packed in 25 pound and 50 pound corrugated boxes with lot code numbers 296091A, 299091A, 30091A, VH3696BO, and 310091A.

Individual retailers have issued their own recalls as a result of the Willamette Shelling recall. On Monday, Whole Foods Market announced that it was recalling organic raw hazelnuts, also known as filberts, which it sold in bulk at Whole Foods stores in California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. It is also recalling non-organic dry roasted filberts that it sold in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, and non-organic raw hazelnuts or filberts sold in Oregon and Washington.

Whole Foods has announced that anyone who purchased recalled filberts or hazelnuts since October 12 in the affected states can return them for a full refund.

Kunze Farms also announced its own recall, saying that it had 32,950 lbs. of hazelnuts affected by the recall which it sold in 25 pound cartons in Oregon, New York, Arizona, Washington, Utah, Texas and Colorado. The recalled filberts have the lot code numbers 289091A and 299091A.

The FDA and sellers recommend that anyone who purchased the affected hazelnuts should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.


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