Reported cases of salmonella in the United States rose in the late 1980s and early 1990s but have gone down since, according to Gideon Informatics Inc., a firm that tracks infectious disease trends. Lately salmonella cases have been holding steady at around 15 to 16 per 100,000 Americans annually, the company’s data shows.
Outbreaks of infectious diseases from nuts are rare. GIDEON, a database which follows the status of all infectious diseases in all countries, has recorded sixteen such episodes. GIDEON currently contains details concerning 777 outbreaks of salmonellosis – of which nuts were implicated in only 1.2%.
Food-related outbreaks associated with nuts, in chronological order:
- 1986 – An outbreak (9 cases, 2 fatal) of botulism in Taiwan was caused by contaminated commercially preserved peanuts.
- 1991 – An outbreak (4 cases) of cholera in Maryland was associated with commercial frozen fresh coconut milk imported from Thailand.
- 1992 – An outbreak of shigellosis in Thailand was associated with consumption of a coconut milk dessert.
- 1996 – An outbreak (44 suspect cases) of salmonellosis in Australia was caused by contaminated peanut butter.
- 1996 – An outbreak (167 cases) of salmonellosis in Singapore was ascribed to contaminated coconut shells.
- 1998 to 1999 – An outbreak (18 cases) of salmonellosis in England was caused by contaminated coconut products.
- 1999 – An outbreak (18 cases) of salmonellosis in Scotland was traced to desiccated coconut.
- 2000 to 2001 – An outbreak (157 cases in Canada, 11 in the United States) of salmonellosis was caused by contaminated raw almonds.
- 2001 – An outbreak (99 total cases) of salmonellosis in Australia and Canada was associated with contaminated peanuts imported from China.
- 2002 – An outbreak (20 cases) of salmonellosis in New Zealand was caused by contaminated Palusami (cakes of taro in coconut milk).
- 2003 to 2004 – An outbreak (29 cases) of salmonellosis in the United States and Canada was caused by contaminated raw almonds
- 2005 – An outbreak (22 cases) of salmonellosis at a restaurant in California was ascribed to contaminated raw almonds.
- 2005 to 2006 – 2005 to 2006 – An outbreak (15 cases) of salmonellosis in Sweden was ascribed to contaminated almonds.
- 2006 – An outbreak (20 cases or more) of salmonellosis in South Carolina was ascribed to contaminated boiled peanuts.
- 2006 – An outbreak (628 cases in 47 states, 0 fatal) of salmonellosis in the United States was associated with contaminated peanut butter.
- 2008 to 2009 – An outbreak (600 cases, 8 deaths ascribed to infection) of Salmonellosis involving 44 states was ascribed to contaminated peanut butter.