Recalls and outbreaks associated with Salmonella contamination in peanut-containing products have been reported over the past several years. Very limited data existed on the prevalence and concentration of Salmonella on raw, shelled peanuts in the United States. An initial study was completed in 2012 to estimate the prevalence and concentration of Salmonella on Runner- and Virginia-type raw, shelled peanuts in the United States from the 2008 through 2011 crop years, which were proportionately sampled from each growing region based on 2007 production volume. That study was extended to include samples of Runner- and Virginia-type peanuts from 2013, 2014, and 2015 crop years proportionately sampled from each growing region on the basis of the 2008 through 2010 volumes. Of the total 2,506 raw, shelled peanut samples, 41 (1.63%) were positive for Salmonella by the VIDAS SLM assay. Salmonella serovars identified in this study included Agona, Anatum, Bardo, Braenderup, Cannstatt, Dessau, Gaminara, Litchfield, Hartford, Inverness, Mbandaka, Meleagridis, Muenchen, Newport, Pakistan, Rodepoort, Rubislaw, Tennessee, and Tornow. The concentration levels of Salmonella in positive samples, as determined by most probable number (MPN), ranged from <0.003 to 2.4 MPN/g. These data will be useful when designing and validating processes for the reduction or elimination of Salmonella in peanuts or peanut-containing products or both.
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