Retailers and almond growers don’t expect the public’s appetite for the little brown nuts to be spoiled by reports that consumption of some raw almonds has been linked to 29 cases of salmonella poisoning.
Almonds rank as the state’s leading agricultural export. The state’s growers produce virtually all the almonds consumed in the United States and roughly 80 percent of the world’s demand. Historically, growers say, they have seen strong demand and expect that to continue with the harvest, which starts in August. Right now, they’re awaiting detailed analysis of this summer’s harvest before they seriously entertain price bids.
Almond production has doubled in the last decade and is forecast to increase to 1.5 billion pounds in five years, said Richard Waycott, chief executive of the Almond Board of California.
Processing such as blanching or roasting destroys any bacteria. So does pasteurizing, a sterilization process used by Sacramento’s Blue Diamond Growers and, from now on, by Paramount Farms.