Last week Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella recalled two million pounds of its pistachios. It’s now expanded the recall to all of its roasted as well as raw, shelled pistachios from its 2008 crop.
Richard Matoian is the executive director of the Western Pistachio Association.
“The growers are very, very concerned.”
Matoian says consumers will likely stop eating pistachios, even if the nuts aren’t from Setton Pistachio. And that hurts all the growers.
“They are going to be affected by this directly in terms of sales and consumer confidence.”
Matoian wants people to visit a new online site that details what pistachio products you can eat. But, California Senator Dean Florez says that’s not enough. He says right now the rules are lax if food processors find contamination.
“In essence our California laws tell us that even after the first test there is no requirement to call your government to say our first test tells us that we have salmonella in this batch, or our first test tells us that we have E. coli in this batch.”
Florez says several bills are moving through the Legislature to change that. They require mandatory reporting of food contamination and in-store alerts for consumers. No illnesses from the pistachio salmonella outbreak have been reported.