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Pistachio Products Recalled

The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) is advising the public that an alert has been issued by the US Food and Drug Administration concerning the recall of products containing pistachio nuts sold by Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., California, because the products have the potential to be contaminated with the Salmonella bacterium.

The company has stopped all distribution of processed pistachios and will issue a voluntary recall involving approximately 1 million pounds of its products. Because the pistachios were used as ingredients in a variety of foods, it is likely this recall will impact many products. In addition, the investigation at the company is ongoing and may lead to additional pistachio product recalls.

FDA first learned of the problem on March 24, 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.

The contamination involves multiple strains of Salmonella. Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Thus far, several illnesses have been reported by consumers 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. The FDA is conducting genetic testing of the samples to pursue all links.

The DEH and FDA recommends that consumers avoid eating pistachio products until further information is available about the scope of affected products.

Environmental Health Officers of the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) are investigating for the presence of any affected products in local supermarkets, shops, wholesalers, importers and distributors, both here and the Sister Islands. If any affected products are found, they are removed immediately from supermarket shelves.

FDA will provide a searchable database of affected products at www.fda.gov and will continue to update the public. For further information concerning local efforts, contact the DEH at 949-6696. For other details, visit the FDA website.

For further information contact: Kenisha Morgan