CDC: E. coli Outbreak – Organic Walnuts


Fast Facts

  • Illnesses: 12
  • Hospitalizations: 7
  • Deaths: 0
  • States: 2
  • Recall: Yes
  • Investigation status: Active

Recalled Food: Gibson Farms, Inc. organic walnut halves and pieces

  • Sold in bulk bins
  • Expiration dates between May 21, 2025, and June 7, 2025
  • Distributed to natural food and co-op stores in AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, KS, LA, MT, NE, NM, NV, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA and WY
  • Lot codes 3325-043 and 3341-501

Almost all sick people purchased organic walnuts from bulk bins in food co-ops or natural food stores in California and Washington.

What You Should Do

  • If you bought organic walnut halves and pieces from bulk containers, see if yours might be part of the recall. Check your pantries, refrigerators, and freezers for walnuts. If you can’t tell if it’s part of the recall, it’s safer not to eat them.
    • Ask the store where you purchased if recalled walnuts were sold.
    • Some stores may repackage bulk walnut halves and pieces into plastic clamshells or bags.
    • FDA has a list of stores that may have received these walnuts.
  • Wash items and surfaces that may have touched the walnuts using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.
  • Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these severe E. coli symptoms:
    • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
    • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
    • Bloody diarrhea
    • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
    • Signs of dehydration, such as:
      • Not peeing much
      • Dry mouth and throat
      • Feeling dizzy when standing up

What Businesses Should Do

  • Check to see if you received Gibson Farms, Inc. organic walnut halves and pieces with lot codes listed above. Do not sell or serve them.
  • Discard the contents of the bins and use extra care to clean and sanitize the bins before refilling.
  • Wash and sanitize containers including bulk bins, surfaces, and other items that may have come in contact with recalled walnuts.
  • When possible, contact customers or place signs at locations where the walnuts were sold to help notify consumers.

Symptoms of E. coli

  • Most people infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli experience severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.
    • Symptoms usually start 3 to 4 days after swallowing the bacteria.
    • Most people recover without treatment after 5 to 7 days.
  • Some people may develop serious kidney problems (hemolytic uremic syndrome, also called HUS) and would need to be hospitalized.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/walnuts-04-24/index.html