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New Salmonella Outbreak: Pistachios

New Salmonella Outbreak: Pistachios

Time to break out the salmonella-free peanuts and toss the pistachios. Breaking news from the FDA alerts us that, in tandem with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), it is investigating salmonella contamination in pistachio products sold by Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc, the nation’s second-largest pistachio processor. The company has stopped all distribution of processed pistachios and will issue a voluntary recall involving approximately one 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.

The contamination involves multiple strains of salmonella, a bacteria which 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 testing of the samples to pursue all links. The agency said it is working closely with the pistachio industry and recommends that consumers avoid eating pistachio products until further information is available about the scope of affected products.

According to news reports, the 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.

To find out which products could be affected, check out the FDA’s searchable database at

Read more: Do Good, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, News & Issues, , , , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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7:01AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

Worrying! ...

6:40PM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

It did happen in 2009, folks!! Don't worry now. Care2 has to be careful.

5:03AM PDT on Nov 2, 2012


5:03AM PDT on Nov 2, 2012


2:13PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

Awww! Pistachios are wonderful! *Hugs her bag close and refuses to give them over*

6:02AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

why is there so many problems with food?

6:02AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

Thanks for sharing the article.

10:46AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Thank you

3:35PM PST on Dec 7, 2011

phew - thank goodness this is an old article!

5:07PM PDT on Aug 2, 2011

Good article. Thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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