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1 million pounds of pistachios recalled

March 31, 2009 5:30:59 AM PDT
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced late Monday the recall of about 1 million pounds of pistachio nuts due to salmonella contamination.Just months after a peanut scare, the attention is now on pistachios.

The agency says four different strains of salmonella were found on the nuts, sold by Setton Farms of Terra Bella, California, which is near Fresno. Setton Farms is the nation's second largest processor of pistachios.

Food safety inspectors are focusing on central California because that is where they believe the pistachios originated from.

Inspectors say the contamination was discovered by an independent inspection of nuts by Kraft Foods, and is not related in any way to the national peanut and peanut butter recall that's been underway for several weeks.

The agency says that while the nuts are being recalled, there have been no reported illnesses due to these contaminated nuts.

The recall will affect roasted pistachios sent by Setton Farms wholesale producers, who use the nuts in everything from trail mix to cakes, ice cream and other products.

Experts say the safest thing to do is to stay away from all pistachio products.

Dr. David Acheson, associated FDA commissioner for food, said they anticipate that the recall will grow because the nuts have been repacked into consumer level containers from wholesale producers.

"Our advice to consumers is that they avoid eating pistachio products, that they hold onto those products, that at this stage they don't throw them out, they simply hold on to them as we're learning more about them to determine if they're part of the recall," he said.

The FDA says the supplier has been working closely since they were first contacted by Kraft Foods on March 24.

Shortly after the announcement, Kroger Foods, which operates the grocery store chains like Kroger, Ralphs and City Market, issued a recall for its 'Private Selection Shelled Pistachios' that were sold in 10-ounce containers with a sell-by date of December 13, 2009 and December 14, 2009 and bear the UPC code 11110 73615.

The pistachios were sold in The Kroger Co.'s family of stores in the following states: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Customers who have recently purchased the pistachios should not consume this product and should return it to a store for a full refund or replacement.

"I woke up this morning, and I heard about the pistachio scare, so I was like, oh I have to call dad, I have to call my mom, because they both love pistachios," said Marcus Woods of Sherman Oaks.


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