It started as a routine inspection at the Kraft Foods Inc. food manufacturing plant of the pistachio nuts before going into Nature Trail Mix. What they discovered was the Salmonella bacteria and then acted on a volunteer recall of all products with pistachio nuts that were supplied by Setton Farms, Terra Bella, CA. This recall will expand from not only the nuts themselves (unshelled nuts and shelled nuts) but to numerous food products pistachios can be found in, to name a few: snack bars, cakes, ice cream, and chips.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have posted alerts of the recall on their website. For general information and the list of foods affected go to the site at www.fda.gov/pistachios/
Salmonella bacteria comes from animals and people due to the bacteria living in the digestive system. The route of food contamination is from eating food exposed to contaminated animal feces. Usually poultry, eggs, milk or beef are the main sources of salmonella, however, vegetables and nuts are also found to be a source due to either the food handler did not wash their hands after the use of the bathroom or the soil the vegetable / nuts were grown in had contaminated feces.
Once you are infected with Salmonella, symptoms will occur within 12 to 72 hours after consummation of the infected food. Fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps will develop which may become very severe and may need hospitalization. If the infection spreads from the intestines to the bloodstream, it may be fatal if not treated in time. Young children, elderly, and immune compromised are the most at risk to the severity of infection.
How do you help prevent the Salmonella bacteria from infecting you? Cooking does kill the Salmonella bacteria. So it is important to not eat raw eggs, meat or poultry, which should be well cooked; and do not drink unpasteurized milk or dairy products. Vegetables should be washed with soap and water. When preparing food, wash your hands before and after handling raw meat/ poultry. Wash all kitchen equipment, surfaces, knives, etc. right after they were touched by raw meat / poultry. Use extra caution for food preparation for infants, young children, elderly or immune compromised. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling birds, reptiles, or contact with pet feces. For more information on Salmonella go to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/salmonella/