CDC warns of a multi-state e.coli outbreak linked to walnuts

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning on Tuesday regarding a multi-state e.coli outbreak that has been linked to walnuts.

Twelve individuals from two states have contracted an illness caused by this specific strain of bacteria.

Seven individuals became severely ill and required hospitalization, while two individuals experienced hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. Fortunately, no fatalities have been linked to this outbreak.

According to a recent investigation by the CDC, it was discovered that the majority of individuals who fell ill had purchased organic walnuts from bulk bins commonly found at natural food stores and co-ops. These stores were primarily located in California and Washington state.

The US Food and Drug Administration traced the contaminated walnuts back to Gibson Farms, an organic farm in Hollister, California, that is certified by the state.

The farm has voluntarily recalled its Organic Light Halves and Pieces shelled walnuts, as stated by the FDA. The FDA has provided a list online of the stores where the walnuts were sold.

The recalled products, although causing illnesses in Washington and California, were also available for purchase in stores across several other states including Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

According to the CDC, some stores may package bulk walnut halves and pieces into plastic bags. The walnuts in question have expiration dates ranging from May 21, 2025, to June 7, 2025.

If you have purchased the walnuts from the affected stores, it is important to inform customers about the recall. It is strongly advised not to consume the walnuts. If you have any of these walnuts at home, it is recommended to dispose of them immediately and thoroughly clean and sanitize the surfaces they came into contact with.

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People infected with E. coli usually recover within a week, although those with chronic conditions may experience more severe symptoms. These symptoms include stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, and even kidney failure. The elderly and children are especially at risk. Symptoms typically appear three to four days after ingesting the bacteria. If you suspect you have E. coli, it is important to contact a doctor for further evaluation.

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