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Setton Pistachio Recall Expanded Amid Salmonella Worries

Apr 7, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc.  has expanded its recall of potentially salmonella-tainted pistachios.  Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that salmonella bacteria has been found at  the Setton Pistachio processing plant in California.

Late last month, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. recalled specific lots of bulk roasted shelled pistachios, certain tote bags of roasted in-shell pistachios, and Setton Farms brand roasted salted shelled pistachios in 9 oz. film bags. According to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the Setton Pistachio recall now includes all roasted shelled pistachios and roasted in-shell pistachios from its 2008 crop due to potential contamination with the Salmonella organism.  The company is also recalling raw shelled pistachios from the 2008 crop that are not subsequently roasted prior to retail sale.  A full list of the products recalled can be found here.

Setton Pistachio is sending recall notices to its commercial customers who received recalled bulk products with instructions for returning or destroying the recalled products and for notifying their customers of the recall.  Firms that have further mixed, used as ingredients, repackaged, or distributed the recalled bulk products are being advised to recall those products and contact their local FDA recall coordinator.  For retail products, consumers should return them to the place of purchase or destroy them.  

Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc. is the second-biggest supplier of pistachios in the U.S.  It sells its nuts to Kraft Foods Inc. and 35 other wholesalers across the country. The FDA has warned that  consumers should avoid eating pistachios or foods made with the nuts until they can determine that they don't contain any nuts that Setton has recalled. Wholesalers, retailers, and operators of restaurants and food service establishments have also been advised against selling or serving any pistachios or pistachio products until they can figure out whether they came from Setton.

According to Reuters, the FDA has confirmed that state and federal inspectors found the salmonella bacteria  in "critical areas" at Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc in California. FDA officials also said they found places at the facility where raw and roasted nuts could have become cross-contaminated with salmonella.

The FDA said that to date, there have been no confirmed cases of salmonellosis associated with the Setton Pistachio products. Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

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