This new warning from the FDA about salmonella in pistachios is kind of annoying. We’re being told to KEEP the pistachios, just not to eat them. Does that mean we should seal them in a metal box or some other impervious container to make sure they don’t contaminate anything else?
After reading at least a dozen reports about this latest advisory, I finally discovered the reason we are supposed to hold on to them. It’s so that these pistachios can be turned in, if need be, to be tested in order to establish a definitive link between them and the salmonella outbreaks.
The producer, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., is located in Tulare County in central California and the recall, so far, affects ONE MILLION POUNDS of pistachios. As of this moment, there is no mention of the recall on their website.
The pistachios may have been contaminated AFTER roasting. Roasting is supposed to kill the bacteria in nuts. But problems can occur if the roasting is not done correctly or if roasted nuts are re-contaminated. That can happen if mice, rats or birds get into the facility. Yikes!
The FDA was first notified on March 24 that salmonella had been found
in the Nantucket Trail Mix made by the Back To Nature Foods Company, owned by Kraft Foods. The company’s alert, however, says consumers should discard the product, which, I guess, is contrary to the FDA’s suggestion.
Finding out exactly which products are affected isn’t that easy either. This was what I came up with and these are just what's been recalled, not necessarily what has been proven to carry salmonella:
Kraft’s Nantucket Back to Nature Trail Mix
Kroger’s Private Selection shelled pistachios
Simbree Almond Pistachio Energy Bites
These products from The Georgia Nut company
More search results about recalled products are found here.
And what about all those pistachios sold in huge bins? I personally wouldn’t touch those with a ten foot pole, even before this, but I have no idea if those are affected. (Whether true or not, I don’t love open bins…of anything.) I suppose the FDA had to go with what little bit of information they had, but it doesn’t make it any easier to know what we should be avoiding.
I guess my Ras Malai will have to go pistachio-less, for the moment.