Pass the nuts as pistachios face recall

    First it was peanuts, now it’s pistachios. The recent nationwide recall of peanut products because of salmonella contamination is being followed this week by a call for pistachios to be pulled from the shelves. One local expert says the cases may sound similar, but there is a significant difference.

    First it was peanuts, now it’s pistachios. The recent nationwide recall of peanut products because of salmonella contamination is being followed this week by a call for pistachios to be pulled from the shelves. One local expert says the cases may sound similar, but there is a significant difference.

    Transcript:
    Hundreds of people fell sick because of salmonella in the peanut products, but so far no illnesses have been solidly linked to contaminated pistachios.

    Dr. Philip Handel is an associate professor of food science at Drexel University. He says the many illnesses caused by the peanuts, and the public outcry about it, may have prompted the early reporting of the pistachio problem.

    Handel: “In the pistachio case Kraft found the problem and went public with it and we’re hearing about this recall rather quickly. In the peanut case the supplier of the peanuts hid the contamination and so they were distributing product that seemingly they knew was contaminated.”

    The pistachio problem seems to be a classic case of cross-contamination. Handle says it appears salmonella was transferred when raw nuts came into contact with ones that were already roasted.

    Listen:
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    [audio: reports20090402nuts.mp3]

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