March 31, 2009
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) are investigating Salmonella contamination in pistachio products sold by Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., Calif. FDA recommends that consumers avoid eating pistachio products until more information is available about the scope of affected products.
Setton Pistachio has stopped all distribution of processed pistachios and has announced a voluntary recall involving approximately 1 million pounds of its products. Because the pistachios were used as ingredients in a variety of foods, this recall is likely to impact many products. In addition, the investigation at the company is ongoing and may lead to additional pistachio product recalls.
The contamination involves multiple strains of Salmonella, a type of bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
Consumers have reported several illnesses that may be associated with the pistachios. It is not yet known whether any of the Salmonella strains found in the pistachio products are linked to an outbreak. FDA is conducting genetic testing of the samples to pursue all links.
FDA first learned of the problem on March 24, 2009, when it was informed by Kraft Foods that its Back To Nature Trail Mix was found to be contaminated with Salmonella. Kraft had identified the source of the contamination to be pistachios from Setton and conducted a recall.
Source: FDA’s Web Page on Pistachio Product Recalls