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Hazelnuts Hazard: 7 E. coli Cases Linked To LA-based Company

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Photo by steffenz via Flickr

Photo by steffenz via Flickr
Los Angeles-based DeFranco and Sons has issued a voluntary recall of hazelnuts sold in bulk, individual containers, and mixed-nut packages throughout the United States and Canada due to a possible health risk of E. coli contamination, announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Seven people in three states, ranging in age from 15 to 78, became sick between December 20 and January 28 from E. coli-related illnesses, reports CNN, that were traced back to the in-shell nuts DeFranco and Sons receives from suppliers or growers. Three people were hospitalized, however no deaths were reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Distributed between Nov. 2 and Dec. 22, 2010 the nut and nut products were sold in one-pound, two-pound, and four pound packages, as well as mixed nut packages and 50-pound packages for bulk bins. Five recalled items use the Sunripe brand name, others were sold in a "Season's Greetings" gift pack with a sell-by date of June 30.

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Says the FDA, "Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection may include abdominal cramps and diarrhea which is often bloody. Most infected people recover within a week; however, some may develop complications that require hospitalization. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk for a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which includes kidney failure."

DeFranco and Sons is fielding recall questions at 1-800-992-3992 between 2 and 4 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or cal the FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.