It turns out that peanuts are not the only food consumers should be wary of due to salmonella contamination.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued recalls of pistachios as well as a certain brand of frozen egg rolls due to Salmonella contamination.
The contaminated pistachios came from the Terra Bella, Calif.-based company Setton Pistachio. They announced their recall on Mar. 30.
FDA first learned of the pistachio contamination problem on Mar. 24, when it was informed by Kraft Foods that its “Back to Nature Trail Mix” was found to be contaminated with Salmonella, said Sebastian Cianci, spokesperson for the FDA.
“Kraft had identified the source of the contamination to be pistachios from Setton and conducted a recall,” he added.
Currently, consumers are discouraged from eating pistachios or food products containing them, including bakery goods and pistachio ice cream, unless they can determine that the products do not contain pistachios recalled by Setton, Cianci said.
“The FDA and the California Department of Public Health continue to investigate Salmonella contamination in pistachio and pistachio products,” he said. “What we learn during the investigation will hopefully allow [Setton] to take corrective action so this problem can be avoided in the future.“
The FDA has also said that it intends to examine current pistachio industry practices and issue guidance to the industry – providing additional information on measures that should be taken to prevent Salmonella contamination.
CAL-PURE, a cooperative of California pistachio growers, and the Western Pistachio Association have established a website that lists firms that have informed site sponsors that their products do not contain Setton pistachios. The website is not affiliated with the FDA.
“We are a voluntary trade association that represents over 400 [pistachio] growers in California, Arizona and New Mexico,” said Richard Matoian, executive director of the Western Pistachio Association.
The processors that take pistachio products from the growers to the processing facilities are currently discussing what needs to be done in order to ensure food safety, he said.
“This is the first time we have been faced with any food outbreak illness,” Matoian said.
Pistachios are just one of several foods currently being recalled for salmonella contamination.
EDS Wrap and Roll Foods, a company based in Hayward, Calif., is recalling approximately 12,460 pounds of frozen chicken egg roll products because they contain black pepper spice that may be linked to a separate Salmonella outbreak, according to a USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service press release.
The FSIS learned of the problem from the California Department of Public Health as a result of an ongoing investigation into the dry spice recall announced by FDA two weeks ago.
The FDA alerted the public on Apr. 2 to a voluntary recall of dry spice products by Union International Food Company of Union City, Calif. according to a press release.
The recall is based on an investigation of an ongoing food-borne illness outbreak of Salmonella. The dry spices being recalled were sold primarily to ethnic restaurants, wholesalers and retail outlets under the brand names “Lian How” and “Uncle Chen.”
“We recalled our products due to the black pepper used from a [supplier] in connection with the food,” said Ide Ng, general manager for EDS Wrap and Roll Foods. “Our food itself did not have any contaminants, the black pepper came from Union International Foods.“
When EDS Wrap and Roll Foods learned of the black pepper recall they immediately took their products containing it off the market, she said.
FSIS has received no reports of illnesses associated with the consumption of these frozen chicken egg rolls.
For more information on recalled products visit the FDA website at: fda.gov/default.htm.
CAITLIN COBB can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.