Salmonella - Peanut And Tree Nut Processors Association

Peanuts and Tree Nuts and Human Salmonellosis
Peanut Tree Nut Processors Association Annual Meeting,
Naples, FL
January 19, 2014
Presentation Outline:
1. What is Salmonella and why should I be concerned
about it?
2. Why is FDA doing a risk assessment and what
does this mean?
3. What does FDA need to know from nut
4. What should I be doing about Salmonella?
Salmonella Basics
• Common bacterium found in soil, water, birds,
reptiles and mammals
– An organism living in the environment from which
it infects/colonizes animals and plants
• A major cause of occasionally fatal foodborne
• Becoming more resistant to drugs
• A highly evolved organism that persists in the
environment for decades
Is Salmonella a Major Problem?
• Despite significant efforts by
FDA, CDC, and FSIS and the
food industry, Salmonella
continues to more than hold its
• The success of Salmonella as a
pathogen could be due to:
Its global distribution in the
The many routes of
contamination of raw foods
Sources of human infection
outside the food supply
Inadequate controls for
processed food
• From CDC, Incidence of Human Infection, 2010
Salmonella Ecology
Salmonella in Peanuts and Tree Nuts
• Commonly found in raw peanuts and all
species of tree nuts
• Found in 2.3% of raw shelled peanuts when
testing 375 grams of nuts1
• Similar prevalence found in raw almonds,
pistachios, and pecan
1 Journal
of Food Protection, Vol. 76, No. 4, 2013, Pages 575–579
The Impact of New Technology
• Identifying specific
strains of Salmonella
– Serotyping
– PFGE typing
– Genome sequencing
Courtesy New Hampshire
Public Health Lab
The Federal Register notice: Request for data & comments
Federal Register Notice
• Request for:
Scientific data
• Published: 07/18/2013
• Comment period:
Extended 60 days to
Available at:
Why is FDA Doing a Risk Assessment?
• Model outputs:
- Number of cases / serving; number of cases / year
- Impact of interventions through “what-if scenarios”
• Model will build upon peer-reviewed risk assessment models:
– e.g. Lambertini et al., 2012 (developed for U.S. almonds)
• Model will evaluate product pathway: harvest to consumption
• Expected extensions beyond currently published models:
– Adaptation to consider other tree nuts in addition to almonds
– Quantification of uncertainty
– Sensitivity analysis
Data gaps: Data needs for the risk assessment
Data needs identified in the FR notice:
1. Salmonella prevalence & concentration on tree nuts
2. Salmonella survival, growth or inactivation dynamics
3. Relevant food consumption practices in the U.S.
4. Storage, handling and processing conditions
5. Other comments (e.g., types of tree nuts to include)
Additional information for each data need can be found in the FR notice.
The Good and the Bad
The Bad:
• Salmonella sickens and kills people
• An ever greater number of cases are now being
linked to the source
• Processors involved in an outbreak are often
bankrupted or suffer major business reversals
The Good:
• It is possible to entirely prevent Salmonella
contamination in processed foods like roasted nuts
and nut butters
Salmonella Control in Nut Processing
• Leadership engagement, understanding and commitment
is most important
• Implementation of process controls, cGMPs, preventive
controls, HACCP, and environmental and finished product
• Ensuring that the facility is designed and maintained to
prevent contamination of the environment
• Promote control of Salmonella with others in the
• Refer to the GMA guidance on Salmonella control:

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