Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Don't crack that shell!
As food scares go, this one hits too close to home.
The FDA is warning Americans to avoid any product containing pistachio nuts while it investigates reports of Salmonella contamination.
This is serious. How in the world can Armenians be expected to carry on with business -- much less play backgammon -- without the ubiquitous crunch of their national snack food?
These days, of course, everyone seems to be a pistachio fan. The one-time ethnic favorite has enjoyed a boom in popularity since being identified as a heart-healthy food loaded with fiber and antioxidants.
It's sad to think it may now be identified with violent and potentially deadly illness.
The problem surfaced last week when Kraft Foods alerted the FDA that Salmonella had turned up in some of its trail mix. The source was identified as pistachios from Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc., a California processor.
Setton sells in bulk, and its pistachios are sold in a variety of food products under different labels, including Setton's own brand of roasted nuts.
The company has recalled specific lots, but the FDA says it's best to just steer clear of pistachios while it tracks all potentially tainted products.
Salmonella can cause "serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems," the FDA says. It can be extremely serious -- and debilitating -- even if you're not in one of those categories.
Check www.fda.com for updates and specific product recalls.