Food Protection Trends - January 2011 - (Page 18)

ARTICLES Copyright© 2011, International Association for Food Protection 6200 Aurora Ave., Suite 200W, Des Moines, IA 50322-2864 Food Protection Trends, Vol. 31, No. 1, Pages 18–27 Consumer Knowledge and Handling of Tree Nuts: Food Safety Implications LOUISE E. LEE,1 DIANE METZ,2 MARIA GIOVANNI3 and CHRISTINE M. BRUHN1* 1* Center for Consumer Research, Dept. of Food Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of California Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA; 2University of California Cooperative Extension, 501 Texas St., Fairfield, CA 94533, USA;3USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center, 403 West Health Science Dr., Davis, CA 95616, USA ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION Nuts contribute good taste as well as nutritional benefits to the American diet. Nuts are a good source of monoand polyunsaturated fatty acids and provide dietary fiber, vitamin E, potassium, Vitamin B-6, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron (32). The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved a health claim stating that as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, nuts can help reduce the risk of heart disease (29, 43, 46, 49). Consumption of nuts has increased in the last decade. In 2007, 1.49 kg (3.29 pounds) of tree nuts were eaten per capita, compared with 1.00 kg (2.22 pounds) in 1997 (19). Almonds are the most popular tree nuts consumed in the United States, followed by pecans, walnuts, macadamia, and pistachios (38–41). Salmonella infection can lead to diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps (9). If not treated, the immunocompromised, elderly, and young children can be in serious harm. Because the water activity of nuts is below 0.7, they have been considered an unlikely source of pathogens such as Salmonella. Historically, lowmoisture foods have not been thought to be a source of Salmonella. However, outbreaks in the past decade show this assumption to be false. Salmonella out- While nut consumption can contribute to a healthy diet, recently nuts have been identified as a source of Salmonella. How consumers store and use nuts can guide safe handling information and assist in the development of more accurate risk assessment models. In an online survey, 279 Californian consumers reported that if almonds, pecans, and walnuts are stored up to 6 months, they are typically held at room or refrigerator temperatures. If nuts are stored 7 months or more, freezing is the most common method of storage. Pistachios are usually stored at room temperature and eaten in a short time. Garage storage, in which temperatures can range from -18°C (0°F), to over 38°C (100°F), is rarely used. The majority of nuts are eaten as a snack, but they also are commonly used as an ingredient in foods prepared in the home. Consumers replied that they most frequently use nuts in cookies (almonds 51%, pecans 48%, pistachios 9%, walnuts 70%) or tossed in salads (almonds 50%, pecans 47%, pistachios 11%, walnuts 56%). Data on consumer practices can be used to develop more accurate risk assessment models. Consumers are aware of the nutritional benefit of consuming nuts, but at the time of this survey, few were aware that low-moisture foods such as nuts could on rare occasion be a source of foodborne illness. A majority of consumers reported that they would not change their family’s use of nuts to prevent foodborne illness. A peer-reviewed article Author for correspondence: +1 530.752.2774; Fax: +1 530.752.4759 E-mail: * 18 FOOD PROTECTION TRENDS | JANUARY 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Protection Trends - January 2011

Food Protection Trends - January 2011
Table of Contents
A Note from the FPT Scientific Editor
Sustaining Members
Reflections of Your President
Commentary from the Executive Director
Consumer Knowledge and Handling of Tree Nuts: Food Safety Implications
Potential Change in Performance-Based Dairy Farm Inspection Frequency Resulting from Increased Reporting Frequency for Bulk Tank Unpasteurized Milk Somatic Cell Count Results
Executive Summary: The Significance of Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Food
Highlights from the China International Food Safety & Quality Conference + Expo 2010
FPT Instructions for Authors
IAFP 2011 Award Nominations
Executive Board Meeting Topics
New Members
What’s Happening in Food Safety
Industry Products
Coming Events
Advertising Index
Journal of Food Protection Table of Contents
Audiovisual Library Order Form
Booklet Order Form
Membership Application
Celebrating 100 Years of IAFP: Pre-1940

Food Protection Trends - January 2011