Last night — only two months after a colossal peanut scare that led to a recall of more than 3,800 peanut products — the FDA recalled two million pounds of pistachios that have been distributed nationwide due to risk of a salmonella outbreak.
The new contamination concerns, which are not tied to the peanut products, were traced to pistachios grown by Setton Farms of Terra Bella, CA. One of Setton Farms' customers, Kraft Foods, alerted the FDA of its findings on March 24 after it discovered several strains of salmonella during routine analysis of its pistachio products. Packaged foods containing traces of the pistachios — from ice cream to boxed cakes to trail mix — have been pulled from shelves.
Although so far there have been no reported illnesses and only a couple of consumer complaints, the FDA is advising customers to avoid eating pistachios until it confirms more details of the outbreak. Pistachio growers are not happy: "We hope the FDA comes out with a more refined statement about which pistachios to avoid. The vast majority of pistachios are not tainted," said Richard Matoian, executive director of California's Western Pistachio Association.
Considering President Obama just vowed to strengthen America's food safety system, I hope this issue gets addressed immediately. Until then, I plan to avoid nuts for the time being. What about you? Are you surprised to hear about another nut recall so soon?