Canada’s public health and food safety agencies are investigating 13 E. coli O157:H7 illnesses and warning the public not to eat certain bulk and packaged raw, shelled walnuts because they may be contaminated.

In a news release Monday, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said several of those sickened had eaten shelled walnuts. The case patients live in Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick. Nine people have been hospitalized and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening complication of E. coli.

The implicated walnuts were distributed by Quebec-based Amira Enterprises and sold in bulk bins and in packages since January 1. All package sizes — including halves, pieces and crumbs — all lot codes and all “best by” dates are being recalled:  

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.

The products were distributed in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Ontario but may also have been distributed to other provinces.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said the walnuts were imported from the USA. 

Consumers who purchased walnuts from bulk bins have been advised to contact the retailer to determine if they have the affected product.