Pistachio recalls is the latest FDA concern for Salmonella contamination

The trial lawyers at Keefe Law Firm are investigating recent news of the recall of over 2 million pounds of pistachio products sold by Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., California due to an investigation by the FDA and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) of Salmonella contamination. On March 30, 2009 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first issued an alert to consumers regarding pistachios. The investigation at Setton Pistachio is underway and may lead to additional pistachio product recalls. Pistachios are used as ingredients in various foods, which may lead this initial recall to impact many other goods and products.

The FDA first learned of the potential Salmonella contamination of pistachio products on March 24, 2009, when it was notified by Kraft Foods that its “Back to Nature Trail Mix” was found to be contaminated with Salmonella. Kraft Foods identified the source of the contamination to be pistachios from Setton Pistachios and conducted a recall. According to the FDA, contaminated pistachios were sent in 1,000 or 2,000 pound bags to approximately 36 wholesalers, who then repackaged the pistachios and resold them to other customers. The FDA and other authorities sated that the recall was likely to grow as pistachios were traced to processed foods like cake mixes and ice cream.

The FDA alert states that the contamination involves multiple strains of Salmonella. Salmonella can cause serious infections in young children, elderly persons, and other individuals with weakened immune systems. Several illnesses have been reported by consumers that may be associated with the pistachios. The FDA has yet to determine whether any of the Salmonella strains found in the pistachio products are linked to an outbreak. The FDA recommends that consumers avoid eating pistachio products until further information is available about the scope of contaminated products. The FDA will also provide a searchable database of affected products on its web site at www.fda.gov. The full pistachio alert by the FDA can be read at http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2009/NEW01982.html .

Eating food contaminated with Salmonella can result in abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and fever. Most people infected with Salmonella develop the symptoms 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses. For more information on the salmonella bacteria, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Website at http://www.cdc.gov.

As the FDA, public health and corporate investigations continue, consumers should remain well informed and carefully monitor the FDA alerts and website to ensure that they are not using any of the potentially contaminated Salmonella pistachio products.

Salmonella are bacteria that can live in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. Salmonella contamination can cause can cause diarrhea, fever, or abdominal cramps. The long term consequences of Salmonella can some persons to lead to develop pain in their joints, irritation of the eyes, and painful urination. This is called Reiter’s syndrome. It can last for months or years, and can lead to chronic arthritis. Serious and potentially fatal cases of Salmonella are more likely in young children, frail or elderly people, and people with weak immune systems. Those cases can happen when salmonella infection spreads from the intestines to the blood and other parts of the body. If you think you or a loved one may have been injured by consuming any of these Salmonella contaminated products, please seek medical treatment and contact the trial lawyers at our law firm.

The product liability attorneys at Keefe Law Firm are hard at work doing their part to protect the public from potentially dangerous food products as these Salmonella contaminated pistachio products. If you or a loved one has used or is using one of these potentially harmful goods and suffered injury you may have a legal claim or lawsuit related to these defective pistachio products. Contact the trial attorneys at Keefe Law Firm to see if they can help you.

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