Pistachios are the new peanuts

Pistachios are the new peanuts


Does that go for Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio Ice Cream too? Gawd, who cares. These food recalls seem to somehow make me less rather than more likely to be cautious about what I consume. There is cause for concern, sure, -- especially among the elderly, kids or those in frail health -- but not as much as it would seem from the hysteria.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recalled more than two million pounds of the nuts and is recommending that consumers stay away from them (all of them), the concerns seem to stem from just one company -- Setton Farms of Terra Bella, Calif. -- and no one's certain pistachios are even the problem in the first place. Call in Minnesota's Team Diarrhea!

The scare originated when Kraft detected salmonella during an analysis of Setton's roasted pistachios.

Some companies, including the Hopkins-based A & R Pistachios, are speaking out to assure consumers that their products are not affected. Margaret Houlton, vice president of the Hopkins-based A & R Pistachios, says the scare will surely impact business, even though the company's products remain perfectly safe and edible.

A & R's pistachios -- of Iranian origin -- grow in California but the business side of the small, family-run operation takes place in Hopkins (the family is originally from Fergus Falls). The company's products, sold under the family's name, Orandi, can be locally found at Kowalski's and France 44 and eaten at Broder's. Great Ciao and Merrill Foods also distribute A & R's pistachios.

An updated, specific list of the recalled products can be found on the FDA website.

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