February 10, 1995 Contact: Brad Stone


FDA is issuing a national warning against purchasing or consuming "Bamba Snacks with Peanuts" manufactured by OSEM Food Industries Ltd. of Tel Aviv, Israel, because this kosher snack product has been associated with outbreaks of Salmonella agona in Europe. FDA is issuing this warning as a precautionary measure, since it is not known how widely the product is distributed in the U.S., or whether the product in the U.S. is similarly contaminated.

Salmonella agona is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in small children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may only suffer short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Long term complications can include debilitating arthritis.

Since December 1, 1994, authorities in England and Wales have reported 27 cases of Salmonella agona infection in children under ten years of age who have consumed this snack product. Authorities in Austria, Germany and Sweden have also reported similar cases. No cases have yet been reported in the U.S.

Laboratory examinations of some of the product conducted by health authorities in the United Kingdom have confirmed the the presence of the organism. Efforts to recall the product have been initiated in the United Kingdom and other countries.

FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working to determine whether contaminated product has been distributed in the U.S. and the extent to which it poses a public health threat in this country. In the meantime, consumers who may have this product are urged not to consume it, but to instead contact their local FDA office.