Kroger Recalls Pistachios Sold In Texas As Another National Food Product Recall Begins

March 31, 2009

On the heels of a major ongoing recall of foods containing peanuts, residents in Harris County and across the U.S. now are being warned against eating pistachios.


Kroger Co. has recalled 10-oz. packages of its Private Selection brand of shelled pistachios with “sell-by” dates of Dec. 13 and Dec. 14, 2009. The company said the pistachios may be contaminated with Salmonella. They were sold at Kroger stores in 31 states including Texas.


Kroger also recalled “Back to Nature Nantucket Blend Trail Mix, sold in 10-oz/ packages, in Kroger stores in Texas and several other states.”Back to Nature” trail mix by Kraft Foods, apparently the same product, is being recalled from other stores as well for possible salmonella contamination.


Those pistachios may be among about 1 million pounds of processed pistachios that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said will be recalled by Setton Farms of Terra Bella, Calif.


“FDA 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,” the agency said in a statement that appeared on its web site late Monday.


FDA and California Department of Public Health officials are investigating Setton Farms’ pistachio products, and the FDA said the company has stopped all distribution of its processed nuts.


“The contamination involves multiple strains of salmonella,” the FDA said in a statement. “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.”


As of Tuesday morning, Setton Farms’ web site made no mention of the pistachio recall. The company said its Terra Bella processing plant is located on 36 acres and comprises more than 150,000 square feet. Processing capacity, including “cold, dry and silo storage,” is in excess of 60 million pounds.


“Several” illnesses have been reported that may be associated with Setton Farms’ pistachios, the FDA said, although it provided no further details.


Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the elderly and other people with weakened immune systems, the FDA noted.


Earlier this year, Peanut Corporation of America was blamed for a major salmonella outbreak that sickened hundreds of people from Texas and around the nation, and may have contributed to nine deaths.


PCA, which has since filed for bankruptcy, found salmonella in a dozen tests of its own peanut products processed at a Georgia plant over the past two years, but shipped the products anyway, government inspectors said.


The company also operated an unlicensed peanut processing plant in Plainview that had never been inspected until the salmonella outbreak was discovered at PCA’s Georgia plant. Government inspectors also found salmonella at the Texas plant.