updated 5/28/2004 2:29:39 PM ET 2004-05-28T18:29:39

A nationwide recall on raw almonds expanded Thursday as companies sought the return of almonds sold In Hawaii and elsewhere through mail orders, in bulk and in smaller packages because they may be contaminated.

More than 13 million pounds of raw almonds supplied by Paramount Farms in California are under recall. The recalled nuts are the focus of a federal investigation into outbreaks of food poisoning by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The FDA has received at least 20 reports of the illness salmonella enteritidis that are possibly linked to the almonds.

The recall has continued to grow since last week, when Paramount announced it was seeking the return of 5 million pounds of raw almonds.

On Thursday, Kerry Inc. of Beloit, Wis., recalled almonds sold under its Pacific Seasonings' Gold Shield brand in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Northern California, Hawaii and Guam.

Seattle-based Metropolitan Market also said it was recalling whole and diced raw almonds at its four stores in the Seattle area. The almonds were packed in 8-ounce and 16-ounce clear, square packages with the Metropolitan Market White Scale label, with sell-by dates of Feb. 1 to May 31.

The announcements followed other recalls issued earlier Thursday by companies in Michigan and Missouri.

Five Michigan companies that distribute almonds recalled bulk almonds and products made with almonds that were sold at their stores. The companies were National Bulk Food Distributors, GKI Foods, Koeze Co., Kar Nut Products Co. and St. Laurent Brothers.

Hammons Pantry of Stockton, Mo., said customers who bought raw almonds packed in 8-ounce and 16-ounce packages under the Hammons Pantry Label should return them. The almonds in question were sold between Oct. 2 and May 25 through fund-raising organizations and in retail stores.

People with questions can call Hammons at 1-888-429-6887.

Young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to infection from salmonella. It can be fatal.

People sick from salmonella poisoning may experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, and should consult their doctors or local health departments, the FDA says.

Paramount Farms, a leading supplier of almonds, has said that it is cooperating with the federal investigation.

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On the Net:

FDA: http://www.fda.gov

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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