According to the company, no illnesses have been linked to the recall. However, it has affected other companies supplied by Willamette Shelling, including Whole Foods Market and Mountain Man, which have recalled certain hazelnut products since the voluntary recall was announced late last week.
The recall is the latest in a line of food-borne pathogen contaminations in nut products during 2009, starting with the massive recall triggered by salmonella in peanut products back in January that led to more than 700 illnesses and nine deaths. The year also saw a high-profile recall of pistachios, not linked to any illnesses.
This latest nut recall involves 25-pound and 50-pound boxes with lot code numbers 296091A, 299091A, 300091A, VH3696BO, and 310091A. They carried the brand names Kunze Farms, Evonuk Oregon Hazelnuts, Canadian Hazelnuts, and Firestone Farms, and were produced from October 12 to November 25.
Oregon hazelnut industry representatives moved quickly to put the recall in perspective and ensure that the public is aware that most food manufacturers using hazelnuts have their own testing and safety protocols in place.
Manager of the Hazelnut Marketing BoardPolly Owensaid: “The inspection that discovered the lot was part of a larger effort in place to ensure the highest food safety standards in the nut industry. We are diligently working to ensure this product has not reached consumers, and to recall it if it has. It is important to note that we anticipate this voluntary recall will represent a fraction of a percent of the hazelnuts on the market today, however, our handlers are taking the strongest precautions to ensure consumer safety.”
Owen continued: “This is a temporary precaution. We're not suggesting that consumers throw their hazelnuts away, rather just hold them until we account for all of the shelled hazelnuts that were processed in this one specific facility.”