retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers to stop eating all foods containing pistachios, and said that Terra Bella Inc., the nation’s second largest pistachio processor, was recalling more than two million pounds of nuts that had been shipped since last fall.

The reason: concerns about salmonella contamination, though a firm connection has not yet been established.

"Our advice to consumers is that they avoid eating pistachio products, and that they hold onto those products," said Dr. David Acheson, assistant commissioner for food safety. "The number of products that are going to be recalled over the coming days will grow, simply because these pistachio nuts have then been repackaged into consumer-level containers."

The recalled nuts is just a small percentage of the 278 million pounds of pistachios produced annually by California, which is the world’s second largest producer of the nuts.

According to the story, “The FDA learned about the problem last Tuesday, when Kraft Foods notified the agency that it had detected salmonella in roasted pistachios through routine product testing. Kraft and the Georgia Nut Co. recalled their Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix the next day … By Friday, grocery operator Kroger Co. recalled one of its lines of bagged pistachios because of possible salmonella contamination, saying the California plant also supplied its nuts. Those nuts were sold in 31 states.”

KC's View:
Not a development likely to reassure consumers about the general state of food safety, noting coming on the heels of the peanut butter salmonella case that has yet to go away.

I was riding the train in Chicago yesterday, and noticed that there were a bunch of ads posted talking about the various nutritional benefits of peanuts. And all I could think was that the product’s new ad slogan ought to be: peanuts. We won’t kill you. Really.”