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Pistachio plant managers knew some nuts were tainted, FDA says

The agency says Setton Pistachio continued shipping nuts for six months after managers first got results showing some of the plant's roasted nuts tested positive for salmonella.

May 23, 2009|Associated Press

FRESNO — Food safety inspectors say managers of a Central California plant at the center of a salmonella scare knew some of its pistachios were tainted but continued shipping nuts for six more months.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a sweeping national warning in March for consumers to avoid eating pistachios after concerns surfaced about nuts from Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc.

In an inspection report released this week, FDA officials said Setton managers first got results in October showing that some of the plant's roasted nuts tested positive for salmonella.

But, officials said, the managers didn't make proper adjustments to processing procedures and kept shipping out nuts.

Officials haven't said whether Setton will face sanctions.

A Setton spokeswoman didn't immediately comment.

No illnesses have been confirmed as a result of contaminated pistachios.

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