The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Loblaws Companies Ltd. are warning the public not to consume the in-shell filberts (hazelnuts) described below because the product may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The affected filberts, product of USA, were sold in 454 g bags bearing UPC 7 75636 10004 1 and in bulk bins.

This product was distributed nationally in Loblaws banners – Real Canadian Super Store, Fortinos, Freshmart, Loblaws, No Frills, Valu-Mart, Your Independent Grocer, Zehrs, Dominion, Red & White, Save Easy, Cash and Carry, Real Canadian Wholesale Club, AXEP, Group Distribution, Intermarché, Maxi & Cie, Maxi, Presto, Club Entrepôt, Provigo, Extra Foods, Shop Easy, Super Valu, Westfair.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria may cause salmonellosis, a foodborne illness. In young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, salmonellosis may cause serious and sometimes deadly infections. In otherwise healthy people, salmonellosis may cause short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.

The retailer, Loblaws Companies Ltd., Brampton, ON, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Sound familiar?

Eight were sickened in an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with eating in-shell hazelnuts(also known as filberts)purchased from bulk bins in grocery stores or in a repacked form. The E. coli strains isolated from case patients, and from a consumer product sample, matched genetically. The investigation led to a common distributor, DeFranco and Sons, a California based firm. On March 4, 2011, DeFranco and Sons issued a recall of all hazelnut and mixed nut products distributed from November 2, 2010, to December 22, 2010. Only in shell nuts were included in the recall. The nuts were shipped to stores in Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and to Canada. Based on a consumer hazelnut sample that proved to be contaminated with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7, the Minnesota Department of Health traced the hazelnuts to a December 9 shipment from DeFranco and Sons. Later the states of Wisconsin and California isolated the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 from mixed nut samples.