Walnuts suspected in Quebec E. coli death

Quebec’s Health Department confirmed Thursday that one person in the province has died of E. coli O157:H7 after possibly eating contaminated walnuts.

The person had pre-existing health problems, a ministry spokesperson told CBC News.

No other information about the individual was released.

So far, 13 cases of E. coli illness in Canada have been linked to contaminated walnuts distributed by Quebec-based Amira Enterprises.

Nine of the cases have been in Quebec. Two have been confirmed in Ontario along with two in New Brunswick.

Health Canada has been warning people to avoid eating shelled walnuts from bulk bins or certain brands, including Amira, Tia and Merit Selection (right, from CBC, delivery trucks parked outside the Montreal offices of Amira Enterprises).

There has been no additional information for three days. This is Canada, and what with their fourth federal election in seven years, expect the information to be flowing forward in super-duper slow motion.

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Where did the poop nuts come from?

Sometimes, I write so fast I miss details.

While updating news on the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in walnuts imported to Canada, I focused on the distributor, Amira Enterprises Inc. of St. Laurent, Quebec (that’s in Canada), and their website which stated they import specialty food products from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

What I glossed over was this statement: “The raw shelled walnuts are imported from the U.S.”

Where did the nuts originate within the U.S.? And where did the nuts get pooped on in the farm-to-fork system?

BTW, Amira, it would be courteous if you put some information on your own website about the walnuts you voluntarily recalled.

Sometimes the faster it gets
The less you need to know
But you gotta remember
The smarter it gets the further it’s going to go
When you blow at high dough

Tragically Hip, Canadian national anthem, 1989.

E. coli O157:H7 in walnuts; people are sick, Canada won’t say how many

People are sick in several Canadian provinces from E. coli O157:H7 in walnuts, but federal health types decided it’s a secret, so mere mortals are left to speculate.

From the rather crappy press release:

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Amira Enterprises Inc. are warning the public not to consume certain bulk and prepackaged raw shelled walnut products described below because these products may be contaminated with may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

All raw shelled walnuts sold from bulk bins, all package sizes and all lot codes / Best Before dates of the following raw shelled walnuts and products containing walnuts are affected by this alert. The affected products were available for purchase from January 1, 2011, up to and including April 4, 2011. The raw shelled walnuts are imported from the USA.
Brand Product
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

*The brand name Amira may not be marked on the raw walnuts sold from the bulk bins.
Consumers who have purchased walnuts from bulk bins are advised to contact the retailer to determine if they have the affected product.

That’s helpful for consumers.

Amira Enterprises Inc. of St. Laurent, QC, an importer of specialty food products from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran, is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace.