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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) laboratory testing confirms E. coli O157:H7 in recalled hazelnuts

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) laboratory has confirmed E. coli O157:H7 contamination of in-shell hazelnuts (also known as filberts) collected from the home of an ill Minnesotan. The contaminated hazelnuts are part of a multi-state recall announced last Friday, March 4, by DeFranco and Sons, a California-based nut and produce distributor.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) confirmed that the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria found on the hazelnuts by MDA’s lab matches the DNA fingerprint of the bacteria that sickened three people in Minnesota, three in Wisconsin, and one in Michigan. Based on purchase information associated with the positive hazelnut sample, MDA traced this product to a December 9, 2010, shipment from DeFranco and Sons.

DeFranco and Sons has recalled all hazelnut and mixed nut products it distributed from November 2, 2010, to December 22, 2010. Recalled product was shipped to stores in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. MDH and MDA issued a joint news release on March 4 detailing the recall and providing a list of stores that sold the recalled hazelnuts, either alone or as part of a mixed nut product. The news release and store list is available online at www.mda.state.mn.us/food/safety/recalls.aspx. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also published a list of recalled products online at www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm245795.htm.