FDA Extends Comment Period for Salmonella and Tree Nuts

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition extended the period for submission of comments, and for scientific data and information related to its planned assessment of human salmonellosis associated with eating tree nuts. The new deadline is December 16, 2013.

The 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 risk-based preventive controls.

A call for comments, and for scientific data and information for the assessment was published in the Federal Register of July 18, 2013. The FDA has extended the submission period in response to requests for an extension to allow interested persons additional time to submit information.

The need for this 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 assessment will inform FDA policy and may be useful for owners and operators of tree nut processing plants and other post-harvest facilities, among other stakeholders.

For resources related to the planned assessment, information on how to make submissions, and links to the Federal Register notice, visit the FDA Risk & Safety Assessment web page.

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