People go nuts whenever a Trader Joe's opens in their neighborhood, but this time, the popular grocery chain has issued a nut warning of its own. The Monrovia, California, company has recalled raw walnuts at all Trader Joe's stores nationwide after a routine FDA test showed the nuts had tested positive for a salmonella contamination. Trader Joe's said in a statement that no complaints of illnesses have been reported, but it voluntarily pulled the bad nuts out of concern for customer safety.
Out of an abundance of caution, Trader Joe’s removed all lots of these products from store shelves and will suspend sale of these products while the FDA and the manufacturers involved continue their investigation into the source of the problem.
Five products are included in the recall: Raw California Walnut Pieces (GU4345); Raw California Walnut Halves & Pieces (GU4346, GU4349, GU4356); Raw California Walnut Baking Pieces (GU4350); Raw California Premium Walnut Halves (GU4343, GU4344, GU4351, GU4352); and Organic Raw Walnut Halves & Pieces (lot number not available). The potentially affected nuts are packaged in clear plastic bags, and their UPC codes and "best by" dates are printed on the back. Most of the potentially contaminated walnut products have expiration dates after Oct. 15, 2015.
Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps for up to three days and can recover without treatment. Salmonella holds more serious and sometimes fatal consequences in young children, elderly people, or those with weak immune systems. The bacteria can cause typhoid fever and, in rare cases, Reiter's syndrome, a disease that can lead to arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that salmonella causes 1.2 million illnesses and 380 deaths in the United States every year.
In August, Nspired Natural Foods Inc., a vendor with Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, recalled their almond butters for a possible salmonella contamination in August. Last May, Hot Mama's Foods pulled their hummus and other dips off Trader Joe's and Target's shelves due to a potential listeria contamination.
Though no one has reported any illness yes, Trader Joe's is urging customers who have purchased any raw walnut products to dispose of them right away. Customers can also return raw walnut products at any store for a full refund. Those with questions can contact customer relations at (626) 599-3817, Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.