The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state public health officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections associated with consumption of pistachios produced by Wonderful Pistachios of Lost Hills, California.
The outbreak has affected at least 11 people in nine states since 12 December 2015. Two people have been hospitalised, but no deaths have been reported. The outbreak investigation has established a link with pistachios produced by Wonderful Pistachios on the basis of epidemiological and microbiological evidence. Eight of nine sick people interviewed reported eating pistachios in the week before they became ill and five reported eating Wonderful brand pistachios.
Salmonella Montevideo has also been isolated from samples of raw pistachios collected from Paramount Farms, which grows Wonderful pistachios. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) has revealed that these isolates are closely related to those obtained from people affected by the outbreak.
On 9 March, Wonderful Pistachios voluntarily recalled certain flavours and sizes of in-shell and shelled pistachio products because of possible Salmonella contamination. These products were sold nationwide and in Canada under the Wonderful, Paramount Farms and Trader Joe’s brand names.