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US FDA extends almond salmonella warning

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended a recall of raw almonds, warning batches of raw California almonds contaminated with salmonella may have been shipped around the world.

The almonds came from Paramount Farms in Lost Hills, California and were shipped to Mexico, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, France, Britain and Italy, the FDA says.

"Before eating any raw almonds having a "best before" date of 21/8/04 or later, consumers are advised to check with the store where they purchased the product to see if the almonds came from Paramount Farms," the FDA said.

"FDA has learned that Paramount Farms distributed the recalled almonds in bulk or packaged [form] nationwide to brokers, distributors and grocery store chains which in turn sold the almonds to consumers in a variety of package sizes with a variety of brand names."

Salmonella can cause often-fatal food poisoning, especially in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

"Healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhoea [which may be bloody], nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain," the FDA said.

On Tuesday, Paramount Farms announced a limited recall of whole natural raw almonds sold under the Kirkland Signature, Trader Joe's and Sunkist brands.

The FDA says at least 18 people have been infected with salmonella linked to the almonds.

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