Finally, you can nosh on delicious almonds safe in the knowledge that they’re pasteurized and salmonella free. A federal judge this week tossed out a lawsuit aimed at blocking new rules from the Department of Agriculture requiring growers to pasteurize their almonds. Growers are now whining that U.S. consumers area about to get hooked on raw yet dangerously delicious European almonds.
The plaintiffs had argued in their lawsuit that the Department of Agriculture had overstepped the scope of its regulatory authority when it implemented the sterilization rule. But a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, Ellen Segal Huvelle, dismissed the case on Monday on technical grounds – finding that the almond growers among the plaintiffs have no right to judicial review and that the handlers must seek an administrative remedy before coming to court.
Bill Marler, a Seattle lawyer who for 15 years has represented plaintiffs in major food safety cases, including the 2004 salmonella cases that were traced to almonds, said Thursday that pasteurization is necessary.
“I can understand from dealing with the raw juice and raw milk and raw food people that they are very adamant that their products are better than pasteurized products. But in this instance, the evidence is very clear that this is the type of product that needs to be pasteurized,” he said.
Do you care whether your almonds are pasteurized or not? Did you even know almonds could be pasteurized?
Judge rules U.S. almonds must be pasteurized [San Francisco Chronicle]