Almonds recalled in Spain due to salmonella contamination

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The Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency (AESAN) has issued a food warning for the presence of Salmonella in flaked almonds of Spanish origin.

This warning comes from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) following reports by health and consumer authorities in Denmark and Germany.

Products withdrawn from the market

This specifically concerns ‘peeled and flaked almonds’ in which concentrations of the bacteria that cause salmonellosis have been found. The alert level has been labelled as ‘serious’. However, there are no reports of affected consumers. According to RASFF, the warning was given by the company itself after detecting the contamination during a self-inspection.

The almonds have been withdrawn from the market in Germany, Denmark and Spain. The affected parties in Sweden have been destroyed. Salmonella bacteria are the leading cause of foodborne infections in the European Union, alongside E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes. Despite strict controls, these pathogens are extremely difficult to completely remove from the food production process.

Resistance to bacteria is a threat

Bacterial resistance poses an additional threat to food safety. A ‘mega outbreak’ originating from a well-known Belgian chocolate producer was exacerbated by this resistance. This outbreak was characterised by an unusually high number of children requiring hospital admission. Some with severe clinical symptoms such as bloody diarrhea.

Cogesa Expats

Salmonella infections are generally mild or even asymptomatic. In more severe cases, they can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps, which occur between 8 and 72 hours after exposure to the bacteria. Most healthy people recover within a few days without specific treatment, although it can take months for the intestinal flora to return to normal.

In some cases, the diarrhea associated with salmonellosis may be so severe that medical treatment is necessary. Complications can be life-threatening if the infection spreads beyond the intestines. The most common treatment is hydration to replace the lost fluids. Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed for severe cases or when it is suspected that the infection has entered the bloodstream.

The almond as a Spanish ‘superfood’

Almonds are normally highly recommended as part of the Mediterranean diet. They are rich in essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and a wide range of vitamins and minerals. In addition, they are rich in calcium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin E, niacin, folates, thiamin and riboflavin.

Thanks to their high fibre and protein content, these nuts help to keep you feeling full. This contributes to weight management. Their monounsaturated fats also provide cardiovascular benefits by helping to control cholesterol levels. A daily portion of 25 grams contributes to 42% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E and 18% of the recommended intake of phosphorus.

Also read: Almond trees in bloom

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