Hazelnuts Linked to E.Coli Outbreak in Three States

hazelnut recall ecoli hazelnutsHazelnuts and mixed nuts sold at major grocers nationwide including Safeway, Sam's Club, Target, Albertsons, Trader Joe's and Ralphs are being recalled after being linked to seven cases of e.coli infection in three states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said.

DeFranco & Sons of Los Angeles, the supplier, issued the recall for nuts sold under a variety of brands including some under the Sunripe and George Packing brands.

Those sickened by the e.coli bacteria -- six men and a woman ranging in age from 15 to 78 -- were ill between Dec. 20, 2010 and Jan. 28, the agency said. One case was reported in Michigan and three cases were report in Minnesota and also Wisconsin -- three of the consumers had to be hospitalized. E. coli infections usually cause diarrhea and abdominal pain, but in more severe cases it can cause kidney failure.So far, no e. coli has been detected in the nut products, the company said in a statement through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "However, we are notifying our valued consumers and customers out of an abundance of caution," the company said.

Included in the recall are Sunripe large hazelnuts in 1-pound packages with a sell-by date of 06/30/11; Sunripe mixed nuts in 1- and 2-pound packages with the same sell by date; and Imperial mixed nuts and Supreme mixed nuts in 50-pound bags. Also in the recall are 50-pound bags of hazelnuts under the George Packing brand that were distributed between Nov. 2, 2010 and Dec. 22, 2010, the FDA said. The bulk bags may have been repacked or sold in bulk containers to consumers.

Also included in the recall are 4-pound packages of mixed nuts sold as "Season's Greetings Gift Pack." The FDA lists the UPC codes affected by the recall.

DeFranco & Sons got the in-shell nuts from suppliers or growers and then distributed the products nationwide and to Canada between Nov. 2 and Dec. 22.

Consumers who think they have the recalled hazelnuts or mixed nuts should check with the store where they bought them to see if they are part of the recall, the FDA said. Call the company at (800) 992-3992 weekdays between 5 and 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

In November, Costco recalled Bravo Farms' Dutch Style Gouda cheese link to an e.coli outbreak in five states. In that case, 38 people in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada were sickened, the CDC said.

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