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Organic walnuts recalled at 3 major natural food stores, others

Supermarket News - 5/10/2024

Organic walnuts which have already led to illnesses in 12 people, including seven hospitalizations, are behind an E.coli outbreak in 19 states.

Gibson Farms, based in Hollister, Calif., issued the voluntary recall involving shelled walnuts under the brand Organic Light Halves, which are sold at Whole Foods, New Seasons Market, Rosauers Supermarkets, and other stores — over 300 retailers in total.

A spokesperson from Whole Foods said the recalled walnuts were shipped to 10 Whole Foods Market stores across Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas and used only as an ingredient in a salad offered on salad bars in those stores. The spokesperson added that the salad item was removed from the salad bars and the recalled walnuts used to make them were destroyed immediately. None of the bulk walnuts sold from bulk bins in any of the stores were a part of the recall, they added. 

The Centers for Disease Control notified Gibson Farms about the illnesses and how they were allegedly linked to the consumption of organic halves and shelled walnut pieces. Gibson Farms responded with the recall and a full investigation is currently underway to determine the potential source of the contamination.

The walnuts were sold in bulk boxes in net weight 25-pound quantities identified by lot 3325-043 and 3341-501 with expiration dates of May 21, 2025, and June 7, 2025.

Gibson Farms is requesting suppliers hold and discontinue selling the existing stock of lot 3325-043 and lot 3341-501 and return any remaining inventory.

The walnut producer is also asking retailers to clean and sanitize bulk bins containing the recalled nuts before refilling.