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Symptoms of Salmonella In Light Of Pistachio Recall

Pistachio and salmonella symptoms

Do you know the symptoms of salmonella poisoning? Recently the Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning to Americans regarding pistachio products that may be contaminated with salmonella. For now, you should avoid pistachios even though at this time there are no confirmed cases of consumers being sickened by salmonella-contaminated pistachios.

Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Calif., one of the nation's largest pistachio producer, had voluntarily recalled a million pounds of nuts shipped to as many as 36 wholesalers around the country.

The salmonella bacteria were discovered during routine testing of pistachios by Kraft Foods, whose branded products use nuts produced by Setton Pistachio. This has prompted Kraft to recalled its Back to Nature Nantucket Blend Trail mix, manufactured by the Georgia Nut Company, because it contains suspect pistachios.

Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the bacteria called Salmonella. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours after coming into contact with the bacteria. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most persons recover without treatment.

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The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness. Severe diarrhea may lead to dehydration and hospitalization. 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.

Foods of animal origin may be contaminated with Salmonella and should not eat raw or undercooked. This includes eggs, poultry, or meat. As summer comes and picnics begin, this is important to remember. Poultry and meat, including hamburgers, should be well-cooked, not pink in the middle. Persons also should not consume raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products. Produce should be thoroughly washed.

Cross-contamination of foods should be avoided. Uncooked meats should be kept separate from produce, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods. Hands, cutting boards, counters, knives, and other utensils should be washed thoroughly after touching uncooked foods. Hand should be washed before handling food, and between handling different food items.

Good food preparation and hand washing is the best prevention.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention



My husband consumed a great deal of pistachio nuts in March and April of 2009. He has a rash over his trunk, back and front, lower legs, and feet. He has tried Benadryl, a strong antibiotic prescribed by his dermatologist, and some topical creams, some of which contain hydrocortisone. The rash has not abated much at all and new lesions are appearing daily. There are temporary periods when there is no itching, but it returns and is strong at other times. There are no other symptoms of concern.