CDC warns of multi-state E. coli outbreak tied to walnuts

Apr 30, 2024, 5:38 PM | Updated: 5:45 pm

CDC warns of multi-state e.coli outbreak tied to walnuts. (Arx0nt/Moment RF/Getty Images via CNN Ne...

CDC warns of multi-state e.coli outbreak tied to walnuts. (Arx0nt/Moment RF/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

(Arx0nt/Moment RF/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

(CNN) — The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning Tuesday about a multi-state E. coli outbreak connected to walnuts.

Twelve people from two states have gotten sick with this particular strain of the bacteria.

Seven people got so sick that they had to be hospitalized. Two people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a form of kidney failure. No deaths have been connected to this outbreak.

A CDC investigation found that nearly everyone who has gotten sick reported having bought organic walnuts from the kind of bulk bins found at natural food stores and co-ops. The stores have been located in California and Washington state.

The US Food and Drug Administration linked back the tainted walnuts to Gibson Farms, a California certified organic farm in Hollister, California.

On Wednesday, the farm voluntarily recalled its Organic Light Halves and Pieces shelled walnuts, according to the FDA. The FDA has a list online of the stores it believes sold the walnuts.

States impacted by recall

While people have only gotten sick in Washington and California so far, the recalled products were also sold in stores in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The walnuts had expiration dates between May 21, 2025 and June 7, 2025.  Some stores may repackage the bulk walnut halves and pieces into plastic bags, the CDC said.

Stores that sold the walnuts are encouraged to notify customers about the recall. If you think you bought the walnuts, do not eat them, and if they are in your home, be sure to throw them away and clean and sanitize the surfaces that they touched.

Most people who get sick from E. coli recover within a week; however, people with chronic conditions can experience much more severe symptoms like stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting, as well as kidney failure. The elderly and children are particularly vulnerable. Symptoms typically start about three to four days after swallowing the bacteria. The CDC says to be sure to call a doctor if you suspect you have e.coli.

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CDC warns of multi-state E. coli outbreak tied to walnuts