Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Recalling Chili Lemon Pistachio Nuts as part of FDA's Setton Farms-Terra Bella Salmonella Recall

Food Safety Issues

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is recalling all date codes of its fresh & easy brand chili lemon flavored pistachio nuts as part of the current salmonella contamination product recall of nuts processed by Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., according to the grocer and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The product package label is pictured above.

No illnesses have been reported to date from the pistachio nuts purchased at the Fresh & Easy stores in California (Southern and Bakersfield), southern Nevada and Metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona.

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market says it pulled the product from its stores' shelves as a precaution pending the outcome of the current FDA and California Department of Public Health investigation into Setton Farms/Terra Bella.

The fresh & easy chili lemon pistachio nut product is the only fresh & easy brand product that contains pistachio nuts from Setton Farms/Terra Bella, according to the retailer.

Below are the specifics of the item being recalled:

Product Description
fresh & easy brand chili lemon flavored pistachios - all code dates

UPC Code

Customers may return the empty product container or the receipt to any Fresh & Easy store for a full refund, Tesco's Fresh & Easy says. In addition, consumers who have questions or concerns about this recall should contact the Fresh & Easy 24-hour toll free number 1 (800) 648-8622.

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems, according to the FDA.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The Tesco Fresh & Easy recall comes on the heels of similar pistachio nut product recalls by grocers with stores in California, Nevada and Arizona such as Whole Foods Market, Inc. and numerous others, as well as by distributors to retailers of pistachio nuts and products containing pistachios processed by Setton Farms/Terra Bella.

The FDA has set up a Web site with regularly updated information about pistachio nut product recalls and related issues. Link: http://www.fda.gov/pistachios.

California-based snack food distributor Energy Club, which sells snack food products to numerous Western U.S. supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores, also is recalling a number of packaged pistachio nut products.

You can view a list of those specific items here.

We expect additional retailers and distributors to be recalling pistachio nut products in the coming days.

Pistachio nuts are a niche crop in the U.S. As a result there are only a handful of companies that process and sell the nuts. Setton Farms/Terra Bella, the owner of two plants the FDA has found some salmonella-contaminated pistachio nuts at, is one of the largest of those processors and sellers of pistachios in the U.S.

It takes time to track all of the various products out in the marketplace processed from a single company like Setton Farms/Terra Bella, since it is a major distributor of the the nuts.

The good news so far though is that it's the only company identified with processing pistachios found to contain salmonella. That will make isolating all of the products currently out in the market and in distributor and grocer warehouses much easier.
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