June 17, 2024

Organic Bulk Walnuts E. coli Outbreak Sickens 12 in 2 States

An organic bulk walnuts E. coli O157 outbreak has sickened at least 12 people in two states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seven of those patients have been hospitalized. Two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

Organic Bulk Walnuts E. coli Outbreak Sickens 12 in 2 States

The patient case count by state is: Washington (6), and California (6). Illness onset dates range from February 1, 2024 to April 4, 2024. The patient age range is from six to 84 years.

State and local pubic health officials interviewed patients about the foods they ate before they got sick. Of the 10 interviewed, all said they ate walnuts. That percentage is significantly higher than the 26% of respondents who said they ate walnuts in the FoodNet Population Survey during the same time frame. And all 10 people said they purchased organic walnuts from bulk bins in food co-ops or natural food stores. There are two subclusters of two people each who bought bulk bin walnuts from the same store location.

Whole genome sequencing showed that bacteria from sick people’s samples are closely related genetically. This suggests that the patients got sick from eating the same food. And traceback data collected by the FDA found that Gibson Farms, Inc. was the supplier of organic walnuts sold in bulk bins in the stores where the patients stopped.

These walnuts were shipped to natural food and co-op stores in these states: Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The lot codes for the walnuts are 3325-043 and 3341-501, and the expiration dates are between May 21, 2025 and June 7, 2025. Gibson Farms issued a recall of those walnuts on April 30, 2024.

If you bought bulk organic walnut halves and pieces, check with your grocer to see if yours are part of this recall. If you aren’t sure, do not eat them. Throw the walnuts away in a secure trash can, or take them back to the store where you purchased them for a full refund.

If you ate bulk organic walnuts purchased in those states with those codes, monitor your health for the symptoms of an E. coli infection. People may experience nausea and vomiting, and typically have severe and painful abdominal cramps and diarrhea that is bloody. If you do get sick, see your doctor. You may be part of this organic bulk walnuts E. coli O157 outbreak.

Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome usually happen to children. Symptoms include little or no urine output, easy bruising, lethargy, pale skin, and bleeding from the nose and mouth. Anyone with these symptoms needs to see a doctor immediately.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with a food poisoning infection, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores, restaurants, and food processors.

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