Pistachio Recall Expands

Salmonella Fears Spur More Firms to Recall Pistachio Products

From the WebMD Archives

April 1, 2009 -- Salmonella traced to a million-pound batch of pistachios is leading a growing number of firms to recall pistachio products.

The FDA warns consumers to stop eating all products that contain pistachio nuts, including ice cream and cake mixes, until products are cleared of possible salmonella contamination.

The salmonella was found in roasted pistachios in a Kraft trail mix product during routine testing by the company. The pistachios were traced to a huge batch of pistachio nuts from the Setton Pistachio company, which were then sold in large quantities to 36 different wholesalers across the U.S.

So far, 64 products sold under 21 brand names by six companies have been recalled. Further recalls are likely -- and the FDA has set up a regularly updated web site to keep consumers informed.

The most recent recalls:

  • Kraft has recalled Planters brand products containing pistachios and Back To Nature brand products containing pistachios.
  • Frito-Lay has recalled its Salted Pistachios (in shell).
  • For a full, updated list, see the FDA's web site.

The recall includes both shelled and in-shell pistachios sold either as standalone products or included in mixed nuts or trail mix. Consumers should return or dispose of recalled products, and should keep -- but not eat -- other products until they are cleared.

It's not yet an outbreak. At this time, no illnesses have been linked to the salmonella from pistachios. The FDA's warning, and the company recalls, are a precautionary measure.

The FDA has received scattered reports of illnesses possibly associated with pistachio nuts; the CDC will see if these illnesses are caused by salmonella with the same genetic fingerprint as any of the four salmonella strains detected in pistachios.

The pistachio recalls are not linked to the recent outbreak of salmonella illnesses from contaminated peanuts.

The California firm that shipped the contaminated pistachios, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, is fully cooperating with the FDA/CDC investigation. Setton is the nation's second-largest pistachio distributor. Last year, the company shipped 600 million pounds of pistachio nuts.