Who Sold Them!

I have included on this page a list of retailers that have sold pine nuts that have caused cases of PNS up till the end of the survey collection period (End March 2011).

One important emphasis I have to make is that almost all retailers are not aware of the problem or what causes it. They simply do the same business with all their products, i.e. purchase them from suppliers at a cost effective price and then sell them to customers.

A poor crop yield in 2009 had sent pine nut prices in the recent 2-3 years soaring (read this article). In order to keep retail prices of pine nuts low, smaller Chinese pine nuts were being purchased especially by budget supermarkets / brands. For many years, the main species of Chinese pine nuts on the market are P. koraiensis (pic: bottom left) and P. sibirica (pic: bottom right), however, due to the pine nut shortages and high prices of these two species, the same Chinese suppliers started selling other Chinese pine species (that are smaller in size and cheaper) to the international market, that which was previously confined to local consumption.

The purpose of including the list of these retailers is not to ask you to boycott their products, but just to beware of pine nuts sold at these supermarkets, especially if they are of Chinese origin and are sold cheaply. Many of these retailers have since taken action to refresh their stocks to exclude the problem species of P. armandii (pic: below).

Do check out the page on the different commercial pine nut species to familiarize with the different appearances of pine nuts!

LIST OF RETAILERS WITH REPORTED CASES OF PNS

AUSTRALIA
  • Coles (Ducks, Freshlife, house brand) 7
  • Fresco 1
  • Harris Farm (Yummy Fruit & Nut) 1
  • Health Shop 1
  • In a Pickle 1
  • Independent grocery store (Ducks) 1
  • Samios Foods (house brand) 1
  • Woolworths (Freshlife) 2
BELGIUM
  • Aldi (Pamp Snacks, Delhaize, house brand) 4
CANADA
  • Co‐op (bulk bin) 1
  • La Pomme d’Api 1
  • Loblaws 1
  • Longo’s Grocery 2
  • Maxi Market (house brand) 1
  • Merci (house brand) 1
  • Metro Plus Supermarket (house brand) 2
  • Pete’s Frootique 1
  • Quattro 1
  • Royal Canadian Superstore 1
  • Safeway (bulk bin) 1
  • Save on Foods (Overwaitea, house brand, bulk bin) 3
  • Sugar and Spice (bulk bin) 1
  • The Canadian Superstore (bulk bin) 1
  • Vince’s Country Market (bulk bin) 2
CZECH REPUBLIC
  • Makro (Nature Park) 1
DENMARK
  • Føtex (Finax) 1
  • Kvickly (Urtekram) 2
  • Superbest (Urtekram) 3
  • Tribeca NV (restaurant) 1
ENGLAND
  • Aldi (house brand) 1
  • ASDA (Besana, house brand) 3
  • Borough Market 1
  • Budgens 1
  • Co‐op (Jamie Oliver, house brand) 2
  • El Tico Restaurant 1
  • Holland and Barrett (neal’s Yard Wholefoods, house brand) 3
  • Infinity Foods 1
  • Julian Graves (NBTY Europe, house brand) 3
  • Marks and Spencer (house brand) 2
  • Morrisons (house brand) 1
  • Nineteen 1
  • Sainsbury’s (house brand) 6
  • Tesco (Crazy Joe’s, house brand) 9
  • The Greyhound (Holdsworth) 1
  • Waitrose (Food Doctor, house brand) 8
FINLAND
  • S‐market (Minestrone Oy) 1
GERMANY
  • Edeka (Nutwork handelsges,mbH) 1
  • Scheck inn (Nutwork handelsges.mbH) 1
  • Toom (Farmer’s Snack) 1
HUNGARY
  • Spar (Gilan Trading) 1
ICELAND
  • Bonus 1
IRELAND
  • Cafe Bliss Restaurant 1
  • Dunnes Stores (house brand) 1
  • Marks and Spencer (house brand) 1
MALTA
  • GS Supermarket 1
NETHERLANDS
  • Albert Heijn (house brand) 9 
  • Aldi (Pamp Snacks, house brand) 2
  • Arnhem streetmarket, Notenkraker 1
  • Bigoli 1
  • Biological market 1
  • Brasserie paardenburg 1
  • de Olienoot 1
  • Dekamarkt (Tovano) 1
  • Dirk van den Broek 1
  • Fifteen (restaurant) 1
  • Golff Supermarkt (Tovano) 3
  • Hanos 1
  • Hilal & Gida 1
  • Hoogvliet (house brand) 2
  • Jumbo Supermarkt (Tovano, house brand) 2
  • LIDL (house brand) 6
  • Makro (Tovano) 2
  • MCD (Tava) 1
  • Nettorama 1
  • Open Market 1
  • Pizzaria da carlo gr. 1
  • Plus Supermarkt (house brand) 2
  • Street market 1
  • Super de Boer 3
  • Vomar (house brand) 1
  • Xenos (Polak Import) 3
  • Zegro groothandel (house brand) 1
NEW ZEALAND
  • Countdown 1
  • New World shopping centre (Harvest Foods) 1
  • Nosh 1
  • Pak n Sav 1
NORWAY
  • ICA 1
  • Rema 1000 1
  • Svalbardsbutikken 1
POLAND
  • LIDL (house brand) 1
SCOTLAND
  • Sainsbury’s (house brand) 1
  • Tesco (house brand) 1
SINGAPORE
  • Conrad Centennial Singapore (resturant) 1
SLOVENIA
  • Maxi Market (house brand) 1
SOUTH AFRICA
  • Pick n Pay (Mediterranean Delis) 1
  • Spar 1
  • Toni’s Pizza 1
  • Woolworths (The Munchie Man) 1
SWEDEN
  • ICA (Anacardia AB La Pinta Quality, Parrots) 2
  • Willy’s (Orkidé, Eldorado) 4
USA
  • A camia (restaurant) 1
  • Al Haramine 1
  • Albertson’s (Supervalue Inc.) 2
  • Amish Market 1
  • Andronicos 1
  • Anne’s House of Nuts 1
  • Antico Pizza 1
  • Atlantic Spice Co. (house brand) 1
  • Babbo 1
  • Ballard Market (bulk bin) 2
  • Berkeley Bowl (bulk bin) 2
  • Big Y 2
  • BIN 26 Enoteca (restaurant) 1
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club (house brand) 1
  • Bonefish Grill 1
  • Capri Flavors (Del Destino) 1
  • Central Market 1
  • Costco (Amport Foods, Cibo, Kirkland, Sabra, bulk bin) 10
  • Dan’s Grocery 1
  • Dillons (Kroger) (Melissa’s) 2
  • Earth Fare (bulk bin) 2
  • Farmer Joe’s Market (Marra Bros., SunRidge Farms) 2
  • Festival Foods 1
  • Forest Hills Foods (Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.) 1
  • Giant Eagle Supermarket (Hickory Harvest Foods) 1
  • Glens Market (Perris Cove Coffee and Nuts Co.) 1
  • Goodrich’s 1
  • Hannaford Grocery Store 1
  • Harris Teater (Near East) 1
  • HEB Grocery store (bulk bin) 3
  • Hen House Market (Good Sense Waymouth Farms) 1
  • Hummingbird Wholesale (house brand) 1
  • Hy‐Vee (Valued Naturals) 1
  • IGA Foods (Woodstock Farms) 1
  • Jenifer St. Market (Fisher Cher’s Naturals) 1
  • Jubilee Foods 1
  • King Soopers 1
  • Kroger 5
  • Local grocery store 1
  • Lucky’s Grocery Store (Frieda’s Inc Produce Co.) 1
  • Market Basket (Melissa’s) 1
  • Marshall Restaurant 1
  • Meijer 1
  • Miller’s Amish Store (bulk bin) 1
  • Monte Carlo Italian Market 1
  • Natural Green Market 1
  • New Frontiers (bulk bin) 1
  • New Seasons Market (bulk bin) 2
  • Newflower Farmers Market 1
  • O’Malia (Fisher Cher’s Naturals) 1
  • Olivers Market 1
  • Organic market 1
  • Pathmark (America’s Choice) 1
  • Pi 2
  • Publix (Amport Foods) 7
  • Ralph’s Supermarket (Flanigan Farms) 4
  • Ridley’s Market (Western Family) 1
  • Ristobar 1
  • River Valley Market 1
  • Safeway (house brand) 5
  • Sam’s Club (Amport Foods) 6
  • Santino’s 1
  • Saybrook Point Inn 1
  • Shaw’s Supermarket (Melissa’s, FarmStand) 2
  • ShopRite (Valued Naturals, house brand) 4
  • Sigona’s Family Market 1
  • Stop & Shop (Aurora Natural, Cento) 3
  • Street Fair 1
  • Target (house brand) 1
  • The Fresh Market 1
  • The Garden 1
  • Tom Thumb Grocery (Melissa’s) 1
  • Trader Joe’s (house brand) 69
  • Vons (Flanigan Farms) 2
  • Walmart (Fisher Cher’s Naturals, house brand) 4
  • Wegmans (Melissa’s) 1
  • Whole Foods (International Harvest, house brand, bulk bin) 20
  • Wild Truffle (restaurant) 1
  • WinCo (house brand, bulk bin) 2
  • Zingo’s Supermarket (Cento) 1
  • Zupan’s market (bulk bin) 1

[Updated: 4 June 2011]

78 Responses to Who Sold Them!

  1. Sally Knowles says:

    The nuts purchased at Earth Fare in South Carolina were bulk bin and not branded.

  2. Lisa Clunie says:

    Hi there,

    Am so glad I found the discussion that led to this website. I LOVE my food and wine and I have been plagued by this disgusting taste in my mouth after eating some pine nuts about 5 days ago. Wine and bread especially taste poisonous. The taste is more at the back of and roof of my mouth, not so much on my tongue.
    I brought my pine nuts from an Aldi store in Australia ( although the supermarket Supabarn also stocks this brand) the brand is Sweet Vine- baking nuts.
    How do you get rid of the taste?

    • Eliza says:

      I too got a case from Sweet Vine pine nuts from Aldi… I thought I was getting a bargain. Seems like the cheaper ones probably need avoiding.

      • Deidre says:

        I ate the Aldi brand pine nuts 3 days ago, about 3 tablespoons, and developed this bitter taste since yesterday,aweful, won’t go away no matter what I eat. Googled why and saw ” pine mouth!” Where do I complain?
        Tks, Deidre Thom

    • matthk says:

      Hi Lisa,
      you can’t get rid of the taste I’m afraid.
      It’ll go of its own accord in a week to a fortnight.
      I’ve had it three times, but only linked it to Pine Nuts the last time I had it.
      My girlfriend didn’t believe me so she ate a handful of Pine Nuts, and voila, two days later, she had Pine Mouth! For her it lasted a fortnight, but with me, it was just over a week each time. It seems Chinese Pine Nuts are the ones to avoid the most, but for me, I’ll never eat them again unless someone comes out with a brand which is ‘Pine Mouth free!”

  3. Kyle Torgrimson says:

    Thank you so much for putting this information out there. I have a current case that came from consuming SunRidge Farms nuts. Some of the nuts are of description you suggest to avoid. I’ve used this brand for a couple of years and not had a problem. I’m anxious for it to go away. Good luck with your research!

  4. Judy says:

    I ate pine nuts for dinner on Wednesday evening, November 24th, 2010 in a lamb dish. On Friday morning, November 26th, 36 hours later, I put a piece of toast in my mouth and had the most horrible metallic taste – which has since continued with every food I have tried with the exception of “40 Spice” hummus – very hot and spicy to mask metallic taste
    I bought my pine nuts about November 10th from Trader Joe’s in Hyannis, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. The nuts were Trader Joe brand and country of origin was listed as “Russia or Korea”. They were unopened until I used them in the lamb dish.

    I will take them back to TJ’s and tell them and ask for a refund.

    • Denise says:

      I woke up on a Wednesday morning feeling fine. Then, I started to eat my toast (as usual) and began to have the most awful taste in my mouth. It was bitter and unlike any taste I had ever had before.
      Since then, it is the following Monday and I still have the taste when I eat something, although it is not quite as strong.
      However, it still interfers with tasting my food properly.
      I started searching the Internet about bitter tastes in mouth. I came up with the possibility that it may be pine nuts.
      I had eaten pine nuts 2 days before and hadn’t noticed any unusual taste in them or my mouth.
      The bag was still in the cupboard so I looked at it and it had a warning on it about possible metallic taste caused by eating them.
      They were from TJ’s also and country of origin was listed as Russia or Korea just like the case above.
      I have eaten pine nuts for years, but never from TJ’s.
      And I won’t buy them there again. That is for sure!

  5. mix says:

    Hooray! I thought that I was going mad when I googled ‘metallic taste and pine nuts’ …but it is not just me! Have had the symptoms 3 times now, worse day 2 and lasting between 7-10 days. I keep trying to eat to take the taste away but it just makes it worse. Last pine nuts I had were from Morrisons..look short and round .. best before may 2011 so not out of date. My husband had no symptoms at all after eating same meal. I have never had any problems with pesto and it is only the last few occasions that I have had problems with whole pine nuts. I will be sure to be more careful when buying the pine nuts in future to see if i am better with italian pine nuts. Thanks for helpful info.

  6. Alberto says:

    Hey,
    thanks for the info on what I can eat. Im really annoyed about the fact that this is going to last a long time. I ate the pine nuts on monday and the effects started to be noticed on tuesday night. I bought them from the bulk section in safeway, Vancouver, B.C. Canada. I love cooking and food and I am really upset about this. I cooked with them (I also snacked on a lot while cooking). About 10 people tried my finished cooked empanada and I dont think any of them have any of the symptoms. I specially noticed the symptoms a 2 days later drinking coffee. I love really sweet coffee. It was disgusting, unbearable. I have also noticed that cigarettes taste slightly different than normal.
    Any ideas on foods that have not been spoiled would be appreciated.
    Thanks

  7. Michael Allured says:

    I bought from Whole Foods in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. They were in the bulk bin. I haven’t been back to see if there is a country of origin label. I got “the taste” two days before Thanksgiving and took away much of the pleasure of the day. One bright spot that I haven’t read on your post: if I chew Xylitol gum I get relief for a couple of hours.

  8. TTMcRee says:

    I’m on Day 3 of this horrendous Pine Mouth journey. My pine nuts came from Tony’s Finer Foods bulk section in North Riverside, Illinois (Chicago Suburb) and the packaging claims they are a product of Turkey. They definitely are shorter and rounder than most pine nuts I have eaten; I have seen most people claim that these are the culprits. This is all very disturbing considering I am from an Italian family and have enjoyed pine nuts my whole life with no pine mouth effect until 2 days ago.

    There is nothing I have come across that is bearable for me to eat or drink other than H2O. Cigarettes also taste slightly weird. Eating a pop tart today was so gross that I actually dry-heaved after I finished it from the intense amount of bitter at the back of my throat. Any kind of meat is unbearable. Also, stay away from Oreos if you are suffering pine mouth- horrendous! I also feel like my mouth is extra dry during this experience and considering the amount of water I have been drinking, this is, well, just sad.

    I can only hope that more people will become aware of this troubling problem of “counterfeit” pine nuts an learn to avoid the metallogeusia causing ones by sight.

    • Tom Freeman says:

      I am thinking I have the same thing going on from eating roasted almonds , did you have a burnt smell associated with the bad taste. Has your taste returned to normal. Thanks for any info.

  9. anon says:

    Tesco-branded PN from Tescos in Swindon and/or Bristol. PN labelled as being from China.

    Seeing as Tesco is such a huge bulk buyer and has a lot of clout in the market I think they could be doing more to eradicate this nasty.

  10. Holly says:

    I bought fischer brand pine nuts from Walmart in south dakota. I only ate a few a few days ago. This is a horrible experience. I never ate pine nuts much before but I’m done forever now.

  11. elizabeth says:

    Another store/pine nut to avoid: The Fresh Market. Recently had experience as other have described. Was initially skeptical when I ran across this on the internet, but became convinced. Called the bulk buyer of Fresh Market and confirmed the little devils were from China, although I can’t tell really match the variety with you pictures.
    Here’s the other thing: CALL THE FDA AND REPORT THIS!!! THEY ARE TRACKING THIS ISSUE – I GOOGLED FDA TO GET A CONSUMER COMPLAINT PHONE NUMBER FOR THE OFFICE THAT HANDLES NORTH CAROLIN (ATLANTA). I HAD TO TELL THE GUY THAT THEY WERE TRACKING IT ALREADY. HE WAS UNAWARE, BUT WENT AND CHECKED W/ A SUPERVISOR. HE FOUND THE ISSUE AND CAME BACK WITH SPECIFIC QUESTIONS FOR ME THAT THEY ARE GATHERING. I AM GENERALLY NOT A FAN OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION, BUT I’M STILL NOT SURE THIS HAS NO TOXIC EFFECTS AND HOPE THE FDA WILL ERRADICATE THESE DREADFUL THINGS FROM OUR FOOD SUPPLY, OR AT LEAST GET SOME BETTER LABELING.
    Also, Fresh Market buyer told me that China supplies 75% of the commercial pine nut supply. Don’t have a way to fact check, but I have checked every brand I can find and they all seem to come from China, except Trader Joes which as you know from other posts, come from Korea or Pakistan.
    So, can anyone tell me where to order/buy non-offending varieties?
    thanks

  12. elizabeth says:

    Sorry – meant “Korea or Russia” above for origin of Trader Joe’s nuts – not “Korea or Pakistan” as I typed above.

  13. Dave says:

    The fact that xylitol gum works is interesting, and I will try it. Whatever is making xylitol taste sweet is also blocking the bitterness receptors. I hope it’s true, because this is making me sick to my stomach!

  14. Laura Welland says:

    Got PNS from Melissa’s Pine Nuts, purchased from the QFC in Seattle Washington. Package says “Product of China”. Distributed by World Variety Produce, Inc, Los Angeles, CA. Thanks for this great site and info.

  15. Terry says:

    I found your site about a month ago after experiencing the pine nut bitter mouth problem. The pine nuts came from the bulk bins at a large supermarket, Save-on-Foods in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada and the store later told me their stock was imported from China. They were the small pointed variety with a brown spot at the end.

  16. Sue Warner says:

    Ate about 1 tablespoon of pine nuts from Trader Joe’s, Lakeshore Ave. Oakland, CA. Label says Dry toasted pignolias pine nuts 8 oz. product of Russia or Korea. Expiration date cut off, located in a spot where it has to be cut off in order to open the reclosable ziplock bag.

    Less than one day later experienced horrible bitter taste in mouth during and after eating. Lasted about 5 days. I have a sample if wanted.

  17. Dave A says:

    I got the pine mouth blues. Day 4.

  18. lynda bartley says:

    My husband complained about the metallic taste after eating pine nuts. After reading about it I smelled my bag of Amport Foods Pine Nuts purchased at Sam’s Wholesale in Round Rock, Texas, I noticed a mild odor. I then realized I had experienced an odd taste in my mouth in the prior week. My experience was mild and I thought it was due to eating more garlic and Mediteranean foods. These nuts are a product of China, packed in the USA by American Importing Co. Inc. in Minneapolis, MN
    I would like to know what health risk they may pose. I love to cook with them.

  19. Lauren says:

    Trader Joe’s pine nuts: origins are Russia or Vietnam. Purchased in Paramus, NJ.

    Gross!

  20. Valerie says:

    My pine nuts were in a bag of mixed seeds and nuts from Waitrose. Had the metallic taste and at the same time a sudden onset of gout-like swollen ankle which was excrutiatingly painful. This has persisted and I am now a month on and the ankle is still not healed despite antibiotics, antihistamines and now diuretics (I can’t take anti-inflammatories as I have asthma). Blood tests came back as negative for Gout and Diabetes. My GP and other doctors are stumped and have booked me for physio in six weeks time! This leaves me in limbo. I would love to hear if anyone else has had something like this alongside pine-mouth?

  21. Erika says:

    Trader Joes in Torrance California, product of Korea, Russia or Vietnam. I can send the remainder of the bag. Symptoms began approx 24 hours after ingesting.

  22. Pingback: Pine Nut Syndrome Thesis Completed: Overview | The Great Pine Nut Mystery

  23. Carrie says:

    Thank you for this! I’ve been suffering for months not knowing what it was. I recently went to an anti inflammatory diet and started taking various suppliments. So it has taken me forever to find that it was the pine nuts I was adding to my salads. Ugh!
    Purchased at Sam’s Club, (Amport Foods), April 2011.

    I’m done buying China anything. :(

  24. Pingback: Snore Mouthpiece

  25. Ty Rust says:

    I have been experiencing pine mouth for 7 days now. I have had swollen knees and the area behind my knees is bulging out. I have also been feeling weak and nauseous, The culprit pine nuts were purchased from Trader Joes in Stockton CA. My wife threw the bag away after her and I ate them. Lucky for her she did not experience the adverse effects that I have. I would not wish this condition on my worst enemy.

  26. Steve says:

    I am in day two of the symptoms. I bought dry toasted pignolias pine nuts, 8 oz. product sourced from Russia or Korea, from Trader Joe’s in Portland, Oregon last week. I ate a very small hand full on Sunday 7/10/11, and first felt the symptoms vert strongly Tuesday morning, 7/12.
    These were the first pine nuts I’d eaten in months.
    I’m guessing that this common day-long delay is a big factor in keeping this bizarre syndrome underreported.
    Our local Nature’s Market Chain has a warning posted about the syndrome, but there is nothing warning anybody at Trader Joe’s that I have seen, despite the large volume of online complaints about the pine nuts purchased there for at least the past year.

  27. Tom says:

    I am having the same symptoms from Dry Roasted Almonds (Emerald) by Diamond foods Inc. My wife is not having any problem with them. I have eaten them in the past with no problem , however this container has a strong burnt Oder , the flavor while eating them is good but now every thing I eat and drink taste terrible starting with coffee. Coffee even smells burnt before it is brewing and then taste bitter. Coke Cola taste like I’m drinking pure sulfur. I am on about day 8 since eating the nuts and still experiencing the nasty taste.

  28. marie says:

    I ate some “Yummy Fruit & Nut” brand pine nuts 6 days ago and have had the horrible bitterness for the past 4 days. Very nasty. My partner also ate some (although probably not as many) and has had no signs.
    QLD Australia

  29. Nuria says:

    I got mine in Holland & Barrett, Surrey, UK. Contacted my local Trading Standards office and they are investigating this, even came this morning to collect what was left of the package. If you live in the UK, please email to the FSA toxicology@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk and contact your local Trading Standards, it’s the only way to get ride of this illegal pine nuts from our shops!
    More info
    http://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/complaints-help-solve-pine-mouth-mystery/comment-page-2/#respond
    http://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/pine-mouth-nuts-bitter-metallic-taste/
    http://www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/2009/jul/pinenut
    http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/enforcement/enfe11023.pdf

  30. JH with PMS says:

    Add another one to WinCo (house brand, bulk bin). Tigard, Oregon (consumed 8/24/11)
    My wine really misses me.

  31. Robert says:

    Price Right- Branded under CENTO label. They should be pulled off the shelves!!!

  32. Dianne Vaughan says:

    I purchased my from Trader Joes, in Millbrae, California

    • Cristina says:

      Would you be willing to talk to me about your experience? I am a lawyer in San Francisco and we are looking for individuals who have experienced an aftertaste or other adverse reactions from eating Pine Nuts from Trader Joe’s. Particularly, we are seeking San Francisco Bay Area folks who can provide us with information about when and where they purchased the pine nuts, the symptoms they experienced, whether they still have the pine nuts, and whether they saw a warning on the package of pine nuts. If you can provide any information, please contact me at cristina.rubke@sflaw.com or 415 773 7379.

  33. Lou says:

    I had Pesto from a jar of Sacla Pesto last night (purchased in Melbourne, Australia). This morning after suffering with the back of the tongue bitterness and a simply disgusting morning coffee, I googled “strange taste mouth” and after remembering the pesto! I had a reason for my problems – amazing ! I had never heard of “pine mouth”. I love the internet!!!!

  34. Kate Quinn says:

    My experience with trader Joe pine nuts happened just last week. I was shocked to fine a web link with over 1500 comments related to this issue.
    My bag says the nuts are from Korea or Russia. Symptoms are gone today. That is 1 week.
    Thanks kt

  35. Just hit me today. Bleh. Horrible taste. I made pesto 2 days ago from scratch, used raw pine nuts that are from China. When I looked up “bitter aftertaste after eating” on google, this site was one that popped up. Thanks for all your hard work in researching this.

  36. Emily says:

    Thank you so very much for this website and respective information. The pin nuts that we were affected by were purchased from a Safeway store in the Ballarat area (Australia). They were marketed under the ‘Macro’ label stating ‘packed in Australia by imported ingredients’.

    I have notified the local Safeway and also head office and await their reply and will keep you updated.

    The metallic taste lasted for seven days and was so vile that I stopped eating. Since my children and I have a long-term medical condition (s) it was difficult to determine specifically what the problem was, as the medical practitioner in question instantly assumed a more frightening diagnosis, which was indeed plausible given our current health status. It frightens me when I think of the potential for misdiagnosis/mistreatment and for all of us who already have current medical conditions. This has the potential to be a terribly dangerous predicament.

    BTW, I think I still have some remaining nuts should you require a sample.

    Thanks again and I will keep you updated.

    Emily

  37. Susan and I both experienced this one time. I discovered it by Googling “bitter taste with food” and the references were abundant. Anyone else ever get a bad nut?

  38. Emily says:

    Hi Guys,

    Below is the (somewhat unsatisfactory) response we received from ‘Food Standards Australia New Zealand’ in relation to notifying them of our experience with the tainted pine nuts. Unfortunately, it offers only a limited scope of information and strangely offers the same information that we supplied to them.

    As mentioned previously, what does concern us is the potential to ‘misdiagnose’ or indeed ‘overdiagnose’ an individual who has a preexisting medical condition, thus causing unnecessary (and potentially dangerous) consequences.

    Regards,

    Emily

    P.S. We have still not received any communication from Safeway/Woolworths.

    Dear Emily

    Pine nuts, which are popular in both recipes and on their own, are seeds produced by several species of the genus Pinus, and have been used as food by indigenous cultures and contemporary societies.
    Food Standards Australia New Zealand has investigated consumer reports of a bitter, metallic taste resulting from eating pine nuts.
    This aftertaste is sometimes referred to by consumers as ‘pine mouth’ and can last for a number of days or weeks and can result from eating raw, cooked and processed pine nuts.
    However, apart from the unpleasant bitter aftertaste, there are no safety issues that can be identified at this time. For sufferers, the condition is apparently self-limiting (it resolves itself) and is relatively benign without any ongoing adverse effects.
    There has also been no evidence to date that the taste disturbances associated with pine nuts are the result of external contamination (Mostin, 2001).
    There is ongoing research on the subject and there is recent speculation that symptoms may be related to lipid decomposition ( Miraliakbari & Shahidi, 2008 ) or species differences with the fatty acid profiles ( Destaillatset al, 2010) of the pine nuts.
    The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council has announced efforts to improve the quality of pine nuts for consumers, by the selection of suitable species and industry certification.
    FSANZ will continue to watch this issue.
    Regards Information Officer

    • Caroline says:

      Thanks Emily, I am in Australia and have just come across the same problem. I was wondering which government agency I should contact and it is very useful that you have posted the entire response from FSANZ.

      • Emily says:

        Hi Caroline, I would suggest that you contact FSANZ however I would not be holding my breath for them to act in an active manner in relation to this matter. As previously mentioned, this issue has the potential to have serious (health) consequences for some and should be actively persued. Also curious as to whether or not the nuts you purchased were from Safeway too? Regards, Emily

  39. Jessica says:

    I have the symptoms of pine mouth as of yesterday, approximately 36 hours after eating a lot of pine nuts in a salad. I have a bitter and occasionally sour taste in my mouth, which is especially bad during and after eating. It fades mostly about an hour after eating/drinking, and it is much more pronounced after I eat sweet foods. As I found an article last night which suggested spicy and salty foods are the most tolerable, I had a hot spicy asian noodle soup last night, and though the taste was still there the soup was edible. Yogurt, salads, tea, coffee all taste horrible.
    The nuts came from Edeka, Lidl, Hit or Aldi in Munich, Germany – I don’t remember where they were purchased. The taste doesn’t make me want to eat. My sense of smell seems to be completely unaffected.

  40. Michele says:

    I purchased :Pine Nuts at Sam’s Club in Dublin, OH and made cookies in December, 2011. After almost 2 months, I am finally able to taste foods normally after suffering from “Pine Mouth”. I read in a post on another website that someone had tried taking Pepcid to alleviate the bitterness. I tried it and it actually worked! I do have to say thought, that my taste still comes and goes but it’s been staying normal for longer and longer each day. Hope this helps.

  41. Lisa Schwartz says:

    I am somewhat of a pine nut addict, bought 10 bags or so a month ago at sams club, have not had any problems.

  42. James phipps says:

    The reality is that the reaction to pinenuts is specific to the individual and most likely is genetically specific. In any event the reaction is benign and transitory The power of the Internet to provide a forum for hysteria is amazing.

  43. Emily says:

    Clearly Mr. Phipps has not experienced the disturbing symptoms associated with PMS otherwise he wouldn’t have made such an ignorant comment. Others (including myself) have undergone diagnostic tests (in an attempt to clarify the source of said problem) which also has the potential to cause (unnecessary) harm to one’s person. Indeed, if this wasn’t a genuine source of concern, I doubt that the government would be wasting so much time, effort and money into keeping abreast of reports and public complaint. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter (in the victim’s eyes) whether the issues with PMS are genetic or specific to the individual, it has the potential to cause unnecessary medical intervention (harm) and we are in need of more research and public awareness. If it wasn’t for the internet, I (and a great many others) wouldn’t have become educated and aware of the problem, nor would the doctors at my clinic. Yes, I agree that the internet has the potential to foster hysteria, but this site is not amongst them!

  44. We shelled our American pine nuts for the first time in 2012 and are very pleased with the product, however, we only did a small amount. We are basically selling samples in anticipation of next year.
    Penny Frazier
    http://www.pinenut.com

  45. Leah says:

    Wow. This makes me thankful I’ve forgone any use of pine nuts in favor of the more readily available and affordable toasted walnut.

  46. Sylvia Littleton says:

    I have this terrible problem from eating pesto with pine nuts. My tongue seems to feel prickly or burning sensation. I bought the salad from a health food store. You would think that would be a safe place to eat. It’s been going on for almost two weeks and I still have the burning sensation. It’s really all you can think of when you have this. It’s good to know that it will go away. Thanks to everyone for the information.

  47. iuliafelix says:

    It irks me that companies don’t have to list on the packaging where the contents come from. Does the size of the packaging dictate whether or not that information has to be provided to the consumer? Diamond Foods brand shows no country of origin on their smaller bags of pine nuts — just that the distribution center is in California. I bought Diamond pine nuts twice within the past several months, and I only got Pine Mouth from the second package. I also don’t understand why it takes several days after consumption for the symptoms to appear. From what internal organ is this bitter substance making its way so belatedly to my taste buds? The first time I got Pine Mouth was last year, from Trader Joe’s Pignoli, and I saw that the country of origin was supposed to be either South Korea or Russia. Chinese nuts don’t seem to be the sole culprit. I saw online that the FDA was asking consumers to report incidences of Pine Mouth to them, and I was surprised and somewhat disturbed. (Sorry if I repeated any information already shared by others above.)

  48. Shaminadar Khan says:

    World Top quality Pine NUt produce between in Hindu Kush long mountain range that stretches between northern Pakistan and central Afghanistan, The pine exported in world markets through transit routes though U.A.E China and Turkey
    The exporter/agent of Pine Nut from Pakistan is Mehran Corporation Who play major role between the buyer and seller to make a deal
    Pine Nut is commodity of cold areas and low resistance to hot weather, during shipment or transportation the goods passes through very hot areas/seas and temperature effects the Pine Nut color and taste.

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  50. Haepemj says:

    So glad to have stumbled upon this site. This is then 2nd time I’ve experienced this horrible taste. I had pine nuts in a salad 2 days ago. Thanks. If anyone knows a ppabput a petition pro better labelling, of pine nuts : please share.

  51. Excellent blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any discussion
    boards that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really love to be a part of group where I can get advice from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Bless you!

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  53. Paul B says:

    Wow, very interesting subject. I shall have to investigate them a bit more when I purchase them. Thanks to all those that helped figure this all out.

  54. Kerri says:

    After convincing myself I had symptoms of some strange disease with the obvious ‘bitter taste in mouth’ symptoms, I also googled the internet and discovered ‘pine mouth syndrome’. I ate pine nuts purchased from an Aldi store in Australia 2 days ago. Very relieved I didn’t drive an hour to the doctors office and googled first!! Have contacted Aldi who are aware of the problem but have not removed from shelves yet.

  55. Fiona says:

    Its so good to have this information. I opened a packet of Lucky Natural Seed Mix with Pine Nuts on Monday, sure enough on Wednesday night when I was searching the internet for answers- pine nuts popped up- what a coincidence! Going back to the bottle where I put the nuts there are the short stubby pine nuts.

    • Sean says:

      Lucky pine nuts got me too. Not so lucky. Class action lawsuit – let me know if you want in :)

      • Rhi says:

        So have spent the last three days freaking out because of the overpowering horrible taste in my mouth whenever I ate – so lucky to have stumbled across a site to say pine nuts were the cause. Lucky Nuts purchased at Coles got me too. I ate some on Thursday and by Saturday everything tasted revolting. Everything still tastes feral four days later, although drinking liquid chlorophyll or hot water with fresh squeezed lemon is providing some symptomatic relief as and when it occurs. I intend to write to Luckys to let them know. This is a timely lesson for me about the importance of eating locally grown produce as I am studying nutrition. Can’t wait for everything to taste normal again.

  56. Samantha says:

    I bought a bag of “freshlife” pine nuts from Coles in Surry Hills, Sydney. Now dealing with the awful bitterness – everything tastes horrendous

  57. samantha says:

    I had pine nuts from Trader Joes in Pasadena (Arroyo parkway store) and now have PNM. Weirdly, ricola cough drops seem to help with the bitterness after eating. It’s still there but not as strong. Riiiiiiicccoooooolaa!

  58. C says:

    I bought pine nuts at Aldi in Brisbane, Australia which have caused my PNS.

  59. Dusanka Miscevic says:

    After eating pine nuts my whole life (used to pick, crack, and eat them in the pine forests on the Adriatic Coast as a child), I feel like never touching another pine nut again! The pine mouth reaction is horrible and scary, made somewhat bearable by the information provided by other sufferers on this blog. I can’t believe that the culprit nuts are still being sold internationally after several years of complaints! Mine were purchased at a health food store in Delhi, New York, which buys them in bulk. Will have to talk to them about it.

    • Christina says:

      FDA has banned pine nuts from China and Russia. You can lodge a complaint with the FDA and they will investigate. Keep the package so you can report the details.

  60. Kathy Price says:

    I bought my PNS pine nuts at Winn-Dixie in Louisiana.

  61. Julie says:

    I bought mine at Sam’s Club in Novi, MI. Crazy thing is that there wasn’t any problem until the bag was over half-way consumed. I don’t know if the difference is that I ate them raw (on a salad) this time and normally cook them. I found PNS after a Google search. The company is Amport Foods and there is even a warning as to “pine mouth” in small lettering on the back of the bag. Never saw this coming. Will have to be a more alert shopper in the future.

  62. Todd says:

    I just got this nasty pine mouth that I previously had no idea existed. I bought Ann’s House Pine Nuts at a Publix here in New Tampa. I’ve since seen many other posts “out here online” where others had a similar experience…Ann’s Pine Nuts…Publix. I purchased my bag the last week of April 2014. This SUCKS!!!

  63. Michelle Rosa says:

    I bought mine at Winn Dixie in Florida. Very unhappy with this bitter taste that won’t go away.

  64. Christina says:

    I bought bad pine nuts from the QFC in Gig Harbor. I spoke to the FDA about this. The pine nuts came from China, and the FDA told me that pine nuts from Russia and China were not supposed to be imported. So QFC is selling these illegally. Both my husband and i developed the taste disorder after eating these nuts which were smaller than normal.

  65. Sean k says:

    I have had PNS twice from eating 2 different brands of Pine Nuts in Australia –
    “Lucky” Brand bought from Coles
    Aldi
    Hope this helps.

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