A cluster of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) cases marked by a distinctive pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern has been identified in the United States and traced to consumption of natural raw almonds.
To date, 32 cases have been identified with onsets between March 2003 and April 2004. These almonds (from Paramount Farms, California, USA) were sold across the United States under several brands and exported to China, Province of Taiwan, Democratic Republic of Korea, France, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled the product and notified those countries who received the almonds. (For more information, see the FDA web site ). Several United States health authorities are involved in the ongoing investigations.
Salmonellosis outbreaks linked to almonds are rare and have only been associated with almonds consumed in their raw state, without further processing.