FDA to Assess Risk of Salmonellosis Associated with Eating Tree Nuts

7/17/2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting comments, scientific data and other information to use in an assessment of the risk of human salmonellosis associated with the consumption of tree nuts.

The planned risk assessment seeks to quantify the public health risk associated with eating tree nuts potentially contaminated with salmonella, the bacterium that causes salmonellosis, and to evaluate the impact of interventions to prevent contamination with this bacterium or to reduce its contamination levels.

The need for a risk assessment is underscored by outbreaks of human salmonellosis linked to tree nuts over the past decade, by product recalls, and by salmonella isolation from tree nuts during surveys. In recent years, contamination with salmonella has been found in almonds, cashews, pistachios, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts, among other types of tree nuts destined for human consumption.

The risk assessment will inform FDA policy and may be useful for owners and operators of tree nut processing plants and other postharvest facilities, among other stakeholders.

The FDA will present a webinar on the assessment plan and related data needs on Monday, July 22, from noon to 1 p.m. To participate, visit https://collaboration.fda.gov/treenutsrisk, select "guest" and enter either your name or "guest." Following the webinar, a recording of the session will be posted on the FDA's risk and safety assessment Web page. Additionally, to submit comments, scientific data and other information for use in the risk assessment, visit the same risk and safety assessment Web page, where a link to the Federal Register notice is posted.