Multi-state E.coli outbreak connected to walnuts: CDC

May 1, 2024

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned on Tuesday of an E. coli outbreak linked to organic walnuts sold in bulk that has so far infected 12 people across the states of California and Washington.

Seven people have been hospitalized and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a dangerous kidney disease, the CDC said. There have been no deaths reported.

Almost all of the people infected purchased walnuts in bulk that were originally supplied by Gibson Farms, Inc, which has since recalled the products.

The nuts were sold across 19 states, although only two so far have reported infected cases. They were sold from bulk bins in food co-ops or natural food stores like Whole Foods and Market of Choice. The recalled walnuts have expiration dates between May 21, 2025 and June 7, 2025, the CDC said.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a list of stores that may have received the walnuts.

The CDC is advising consumers to ask their stores if recalled walnuts were sold at the location, saying some stores may repackage the product into plastic clamshells or bags. Businesses should check to see if they have received organic walnut halves and pieces with specified lot codes from Gibson Farms, Inc. and should not serve them, the CDC said.

The CDC is also advising consumers and businesses to discard the contents and to “use extra care” to wash items and surfaces that may have touched the walnuts.

E. coli symptoms include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. They usually develop three to four days after swallowing the bacteria, the CDC said. While some people recover without treatment after five to seven days, others may develop serious kidney problems and might need to be hospitalized.