April 3, 2009 / 7:10 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Pistachio recall widens to NY company

* Snacks with pistachios recalled

* Company connected to one that recalled nuts earlier

By Martinne Geller

NEW YORK, April 3 (Reuters) - Setton International Foods Inc issued a recall of several snacks containing pistachios, four days after a related company recalled more than two million pounds of the nuts due to possible salmonella contamination.

Setton International, based in Commack, New York, on Friday recalled several lots of bulk-packaged mixed nuts, chocolate-covered pistachios and shelled pistachios that were processed by its sister company, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc, based in California.

Setton International said the recall did not affect its unshelled pistachios, or any other products, which include dried fruits, nuts, candies and yogurt-covered snacks.

While Setton International is a separate company from Setton Pistachio, it has certain ownership in common with the California company, which has more than 5,000 acres of pistachio orchards as well as processing and packaging facilities.

Setton Pistachio based in Terra Bella, California is the second largest pistachio processor in the United States, and export its premium California pistachios to over thirty foreign markets, according to the company website.

here

The California processor issued a nationwide recall of pistachios on Tuesday, a week after one of its customers, Kraft Foods Inc KFT.N, told U.S. health regulators that its Back To Nature trail mix was contaminated with salmonella and identified Setton as the source. [ID:nN31393864]

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. The pistachio recall is not connected to the recent salmonella outbreak involving peanuts and peanut butter.

FAILED INSPECTION

Prior to both recalls, New York-based Setton International failed a health inspection by New York authorities, who found two live cockroaches, along with dead cockroaches and rodent droppings at its Long Island facility.

Following the California recall, inspectors returned to the New York plant to take food and environmental samples, which are currently being tested for salmonella.

A spokesman from Setton International and a spokeswoman from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets said the salmonella recall in California and the findings of the New York inspection were not related.

The Setton spokesman said the company rectified the situation noted in the agency’s report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

Nuts from Setton Pistachios have made their way to the nation’s largest grocers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), Target Corp (TGT.N), Kroger Co (KR.N) and Whole Foods Market Inc WFMI.O.

John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc (JBSS.O) has been involved along the way, after using pistachios supplied by Setton in the Flavor Tree nuts it sells at Whole Foods and the Archer Farms nuts it provides for Target.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has advised consumers to avoid all pistachios until more information is known. It said on Tuesday that it was conducting genetic testing of samples to see if there was a link between pistachios and several illnesses reported by consumers. (Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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