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Does Hazelnut E. coli Outbreak Extend to Canada?

Canadian public health authorities are trying to determine whether two people with E. coli O157:H7 infections are part of an outbreak associated in the United States with in-shell hazelnuts.

The two Canadian cases have genetic fingerprints that match the U.S. illnesses, but the two cases have not yet been linked to the recalled hazelnuts, the Public Health Agency of Canada reported Monday.

Seven people in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, ranging in age from 15 to 78, became sick between December 20 and January 28 from E. coli infections. All reported eating hazelnuts that were traced back to the in-shell nuts Los Angeles-based DeFranco and Sons had received from suppliers or growers. Last Friday DeFranco and Sons announced it was recalling the nuts in the U.S. and Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said some of the in-shell hazelnuts and mixed nuts containing hazelnuts were shipped to Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and may have been distributed nationally.

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