Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pistachio recall

Here we go again--the FDA is recalling pistachios processed by Setton Pistachio in Terra Bella, California. This is thanks to a heads up from Kraft, which detected traces of Salmonella in the nuts it purchased. Kraft alerted the FDA. The news broke last night and here is the NYTimes take on the issue.

Ron Zisa, the bulk buyer, contacted our two major nut suppliers, and both of them told us that they do not purchase pistachios from Setton. We don't carry a lot of other products that contain pistachios, and the suppliers that we have contacted were not prepared to give an immediate answer.

For example, I called Larabar regarding their raw pistachio bar. Larabar is owned by General Mills, and I spoke with a customer service rep. She did a quick check and then assured me that they didn't purchase any pistachios from Georgia. After I hung up, I realized that the conversation should have been about California not Georgia. I called back and got another representative who admitted that they did not yet have any information on the recall.

Nuts are very nutritious, and I would hope that the FDA would increase inspections of processing plants. During the recent peanut scare, our members did not turn away from peanut butter--sales remained steady. None of the brands of peanut butter that we sell were recalled. But it was also clear that some people were totally unaware of the peanut recall. I had one mother upset that her child's favorite Cliff peanut butter Zbar (which was recalled) was not available.

We'll try to provide information on the pistachio recall as we receive it.

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