News release: Officials investigating Salmonella cases linked to Wonderful Pistachios™

News Release
March 10, 2016

Contact information

Officials investigating Salmonella cases linked to Wonderful Pistachios™

Health officials recommend not eating this product; company has issued recall

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) are working with the Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and public health agencies in other states to investigate an outbreak of salmonellosis associated with eating Wonderful Pistachios brand pistachios.

A single case of Salmonella Montevideo infection in Minnesota was part of a multi-state outbreak due to Wonderful Pistachios. The Minnesota case is an adult male who was not hospitalized and has recovered.

On March 9, Wonderful Pistachios of Lost Hills, Calif., voluntarily recalled selected in-shell and shelled pistachios due to possible Salmonella contamination. The pistachios were sold under the brand names Wonderful, Paramount Farms, and Trader Joe’s. Based on the information collected to date, health officials recommend not eating any of this product if packaging matches any of these product lot codes [expired link].

Eleven matching Salmonella Montevideo cases in nine states have reported eating this product. These states include Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Virginia, and Washington. Two cases were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Since many cases of salmonellosis do not seek health care and get tested, the number of ill people that are part of this outbreak is likely to be larger than the identified cases. Consequently, health officials want to bring this outbreak to the attention of people who have become ill with symptoms of salmonellosis, but who have not yet consulted a health care provider. These people should mention this outbreak to their health care provider should they consult one.

Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever. Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 72 hours after exposure, but they can begin up to a week after exposure. Salmonella infections usually resolve in 5 to 7 days, but approximately 28 percent of laboratory-confirmed cases require hospitalization. Invasive infections (for example, blood stream infections, meningitis) occasionally occur.

In rare cases, Salmonella infection can lead to death, particularly in the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. Many Salmonella infections in otherwise healthy people do not require medical treatment. For those that do seek health care, most do not need to be treated with antibiotics. However, antibiotic treatment for certain categories of people and for more severe infections is warranted.

Please consult your health care provider for more information with specific questions about treatment of salmonellosis.

More information will become available as the investigation proceeds. The company is cooperating fully. A statement from the company can be found at Wonderful Press Info [expired link].

Approximately 700-900 cases of salmonellosis are reported each year in Minnesota. More information on Salmonella and how to prevent it can be found on the MDH website at Salmonellosis.

For more information, CDC has issued this statement: Salmonella Montevideo Infections Linked to Wonderful Pistachios [expired link].


Media inquiries:

Doug Schultz
MDH Communications