FDA Recall on Organic Walnuts Linked to E coli Outbreak


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local health partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of E coli O157:H7 infections linked to organic walnuts.

Map of contaminated areas in the US.

Image credits: CDC

Map of contaminated areas in the US.

Image credits: CDC

As of April 30, 2024, there have been 12 reported illnesses associated with this E coli outbreak, 7 hospitalizations, but no reported deaths. The last illness onset was documented on April 4, 2024. The recalled organic walnut halves were distributed by Gibson Farms, Inc, of Hollister, California, and were sold in bulk bins at natural food and cooperative stores (co-ops) across several states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Idado, Kansas, Lousiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texa, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. 1

During the investigation, health officials conducted interviews with individuals who were sick. All 10 individuals interviewed reported consuming walnuts, with nearly all purchasing organic walnuts from bulk bins in food co-ops or natural food stores.

According to the CDC, call your healthcare provider if you have any of these severe E coli symptoms: 2

  1. Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  2. Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving.
  3. Bloody diarrhea
  4. So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down.
  5. Signs of dehydration, such as:
    1. Not peeing much;
    2. Dry mouth and throat;
    3. Feeling dizzy when standing up.

Individuals who suspect they may have symptoms of an E coli infection after consuming organic walnuts should seek medical attention promptly. It is essential for retailers, distributors, and consumers to follow the FDA's safe handling and cleaning advice diligently, and to take extra care in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces and containers that may have met the recalled product to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.

According to the previous reporting from Contagion, E coli is a bacterial infection that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea, and abdominal cramps 2 to 8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure to the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Symptoms can usually last between 5 to 10 days, and people with mild symptoms usually recover on their own without treatment.3

FDA's traceback investigation pinpointed Gibson Farms, Inc, as the common supplier of the contaminated walnuts. The FDA is collaborating with Gibson Farms, Inc, and its distributors to identify the source of contamination, ascertain if additional products or states are affected, and determine the retailers that received the recalled product. This advisory will be continuously updated as new information becomes available.

Given the investigation is currently ongoing, all stakeholders must stay informed as updates are provided by the FDA, CDC, and other relevant health agencies.


  1. FDA. Outbreak Investigation of E. coli O157:H7: Bulk Organic Walnuts (April 2024). Published April 30, 2024. Accessed May 1, 2024. https://www.fda.gov/food/outbreaks-foodborne-illness/outbreak-investigation-e-coli-o157h7-bulk-organic-walnuts-april-2024
  2. CDC. E. coli Outbreak Linked to Organic Walnuts. News Release. Published April 30, 2024. Accessed May 1, 2024. https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/walnuts-04-24/index.html
  3. FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Ground Beef Products Due to Possible E coli O157:H7 Contamination. FSIS press release. April 20, 2024. Accessed May 1, 2024.
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