Campus vendors quick to react to the nation-wide pistachio recall
April 11, 2009 9:08 AM
In the midst of yet another Salmonella outbreak, weary SF State food vendors are taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of students and faculty.
The Food and Drug Administration and the California Department of Public Safety began investigated a recall of roasted pistachios in March, but since then the investigation has widened to include raw pistachios and all other roasted nuts produced in 2008.
"The pistachio is a big recall, it's all over the country," said Edward Vicedo, senior director of dining services of Chartwells at SF State. "It is my company's belief that if we give out 100 percent of the information, it is our responsibility as directors to see what's appropriate and act in a responsible, very responsible way."
Since the investigation of nuts began in late March, tainted pistachios have been linked to Setton Farms of Terra Bella, Calif. On Wednesday, FDA investigators located the contaminated equipment at Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella.
Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Inc., has recalled more than 2 million pounds of pistachio's. The Kern County-based company is the nations second-largest pistachio producer.
The recall was extended on Monday by the FDA to include pistachio products from companies such as: Power Candy and Nut Co., Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks Inc, and the Harry and David of Medford, Ore. Many companies are voluntarily recalling pistachio products regardless of their association with Setton Pistachio, according to the FDA website.
Compass Group, the parent company of campus food vendors such as Chartwells and Canteen, issues warnings of possible food contamination daily.
"We get things that are not even in the news...this week we have seven," said Vicedo about the number of food safety warnings received from his parent company. "In the past three months I've probably had a total of 15, this seems to be a heavy week."
Canteen provides food for all campus vending machines while Chartwells offers full meal services at Cafe in the Park and City Eats, the on-campus housing cafeteria frequented daily by most freshman.
Tim Meeks, a dorm-dwelling freshman at SF State, thinks the best way to thwart the deadly bacteria is to avoid the dining commons. "Usually I'll just get pizza or a sandwich from the Village Market and Cup-O-Noodles, lots of ramen."
The Village Market has removed all packed pistachios from their shelves, according to Allam El Qudah, the owner of campus eateries such as Café Rosso and Sushi Go.
Even though the campus eateries provide clean food, Meeks says they can use some work. "Just because it's safe, doesn't mean it tastes good."
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