Bulk Walnut E. coli Outbreak

An E. coli outbreak linked to walnut halves and pieces sold in bulk at natural food stores and co-ops in 19 states has sickened at least 12 people. Seven patients have been hospitalized, two of them with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure.

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E. coli and HUS

All of the patients interviewed by health officials so far said they had eaten walnuts before they developed symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection which include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. Symptoms of HUS usually appear about one week after initial E. coli symptoms and include:

  • Pale skin
  • Skin that easily bruises
  • Decreased urine output
  • Bloody diarrhea 
  • Lethargy

Anyone with these symptoms should seek immediate medical care as HUS can be fatal. Treatment for HUS includes transfusions, dialysis, plasma exchange, and kidney transplants.

Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications and antibiotics should not be given to patients with E. coli infections as they can increase the chance of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)a form of kidney failure.

Walnut E. coli Outbreak Investigation

This outbreak includes six illnesses in Washington from three counties Clallam (1), Jefferson (2), and King (3) and six patients in California.

Tests performed on the E. coli cultured from patients revealed that the strains match. This means the patients were likely exposed to the same source of contamination.

The 10 patients health officials have interviewed so far said they bought organic walnuts from bulk bins at food co-ops or natural food stores. Two stores were linked to multiple illnesses. Using this information, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was able to identify walnuts produced by Gibson Farms Inc. of Hollister, CA as the source of the outbreak.

The company has issued a walnut recall. The recalled walnuts were sold at natural food stores in 19 states.

E. coli walnut distribution map CDC
States where walnuts linked to this E.coii outbreak were sold.

Experienced E. coli Lawyers

The E. coli Lawyers at Pritzker Hageman have represented clients in every major U.S. E. coli outbreak. In one recent case, our team of E. coli lawyers obtained one of the largest E. coli verdicts in U.S. history.

If you or your family member developed an E. coli infection from contaminated walnuts and you would like a free consultation with an experienced E. coli lawyer, please contact us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. The consultation is free and there is no obligation

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Category: E. coli, Food Poisoning
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