Monday, March 7, 2011
THE CANADIAN SIDE OF THE HAZELNUT RECALL
The recent DeFranco & Sons (of LA, California) recall of E.coli 0157:H7 contaminated hazelnuts (also known as "filberts") involves Canada as well as the United States (and, for all we know at present, may also spread to other countries).
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued an alert to Canadian consumers, noting:
"If you have purchased bulk or unlabelled, in-shell hazelnuts or in-shell mixed nuts containing hazelnuts after Nov. 16, 2010, and are unsure if you have the recalled product, check with your place of purchase to determine if you have the affected product."
The affected nuts are known to have been distributed in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, but, as the CFIA said, they could also have been distributed elsewhere in Canada (because some of the big bulk bags of hazelnuts have probably been re-packaged into smaller ones by other distributors and shipped elsewhere - see earlier blog).
So far, two Canadians have fallen ill with a strain of E. coli 0157:H7 that matches the genetic fingerprint of the strain responsible for the hazelnut-linked illnesses in the United States.
For a list of recalled products - also relevant to Canada - see earlier post. And the warning I gave earlier also applies in Canada: some of these hazelnut could have been used as ingredients in finished foods (such as chocolates, baked goods and so on), so avoid such foods for the time being until we see where this recall ends.