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Setton International Foods stops pistachio shipments

The New York company is under federal investigation along with its sister firm in Central California over a salmonella scare. It says health issues have been addressed.

April 03, 2009|Associated Press

FRESNO — Officials at a New York plant tied to a nationwide pistachio recall caused by salmonella fears said Thursday that they had stopped shipping pistachios and addressed health and safety problems found inside the plant.

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating Setton International Foods Inc. of Commack, N.Y., as part of the salmonella scare involving its sister company, Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc.

The San Joaquin Valley plant earlier this week recalled 2 million pounds of nuts over fears of possible salmonella contamination.

Last month, New York agricultural authorities discovered nearly two dozen dead cockroaches, rodent droppings and one live cockroach on an ingredient rolling rack inside the Commack plant, which failed its state health inspection.

Lee Cohen, the production manager for Setton International Foods, said that those conditions weren't related to the recall and that the plant was now spotless.

Inspectors went back Wednesday to swab the plant and take food samples to be tested for salmonella and other pathogens, said Jessica Chittenden, a spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets. The test results are pending.

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