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Published: Tuesday, 3/31/2009

Pistachio company: Raw nuts may be bacteria source


TERRA BELLA, Calif. The company at the center of a nationwide pistachio recall says the salmonella contamination could have come from raw nuts during processing but not a human or animal source in its plant.

Lee Cohen, the production manager for Setton International Foods Inc., said Tuesday the company suspects roasted pistachios sold to Kraft Foods may have become mixed at Setton's plant with raw nuts that could have contained traces of the bacteria.

The pistachios were processed at central California-based Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc., the corporate family of Setton International.

Kraft expanded its recall to include any Planters and Back to Nature products that contain pistachios. Cincinnati-based grocery operator Kroger Co. has recalled one line of bagged pistachios, saying the California plant also supplied its nuts.

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