Monday, March 7, 2011
E.COLI CONTAMINATED HAZELNUTS
E.coli 0157:H 7 contaminated hazelnuts (and, I bet, a growing list of hazelnut-containing processed foods). Yes, you read correctly.
DeFranco & Sons of Los Angeles, California, is recalling in-shell hazelnuts and mixed-nut products in bulk and bags. They were distributed nationwide in the US and to Canada. (I wonder where they were grown? California or imported? I'll find out and let you know). These nuts have already been linked to seven cases of E.coli 0157:H7 illness in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. There will be more.
E.coli 0157 contamination of nuts is very uncommon. Usually it's Salmonella bacteria (as it was in the case of past peanut and pistachio outbreaks we had). And, we all know by now that this nasty bacteria can cause very serious illness, especially in young children and the elderly who could develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) just as they think they are getting over the diarrhea.
If you have eaten hazelnuts recently, or, any product containing hazelnuts (such as peanut butter, chocolates, baked goods, ice creams) watch out for symptoms of bloody diarrhea, in case you were unlucky. Onset of symptoms is usually 3-4 days (but can be 2-8) after eating the nuts. Get yourself (or your child) to a doctor if that happens.
And my advice - avoid any brand hazelnuts or hazelnut containing product for the moment, until we find out where this outbreak ends up.