Yesterday, April 3, 2011, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Amira Enterprises Inc., a distributor of dried fruits and nuts based in St. Laurent, Quebec, warned the public not to eat certain bulk and prepackaged raw shelled walnut products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The company announced that it was recalling Amira Enterprises brand walnuts that had been imported from the U.S. and available for purchase starting January 1, 2011. The CFIA reports that the nuts were distributed in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, and possibly other locations throughout the nation. Consumers should be aware that the recall list includes the following products:
- Amira, raw, shelled walnuts sold from a bulk bin;
- Amira, prepackaged raw shelled walnuts (halves/pieces/crumbs);
- Tia, prepackaged raw shelled walnuts (halves/pieces/crumbs);
- Merit Selection, prepackaged raw shelled walnuts (halves/pieces/crumbs);
- Amira, mistral mix containing walnuts;
- Tia, mistral Mix containing walnuts;
- Amira, salad booster containing walnuts;
- Tia, salad booster containing walnuts.
Unfortunately, raw walnut products sold in bulk form may not be marked with the brand name. CFIA is advising consumers who have purchased walnuts from bulk bins to contact the retailer directly to determine if they have the affected product.
The recall was prompted by a multi-provincial outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses. The Public health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is currently investigating the outbreak along with provincial health authorities and the CFIA.
An E. coli infection can be a potentially life-threatening illness. Typically, severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea will be the first manifestations of the infection. To learn more about E. coli, visit the informational website, http://www.about-ecoli.com/, sponsored by Marler Clark.
For more information, consumers and industry can contact Amira Enterprises Inc. at 1-877-383-9823 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 / TTY 1-800-465-7735, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time, Monday to Friday.