Product recall

Olympia Food Co-op is buying back walnut halves and pieces

E-coli concern: Co-op says they did not stock walnuts from the specified lots but are proceeding as if they did


Olympia Food Co-op, which operates two stores in Olympia, has issued a recall for its organic walnut halves and pieces sourced from Gibson Farms, Inc., after the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have warned of a potential E. coli contamination from the walnut product.

FDA released a list of stores nationwide, and the Olympia Food Co-op is the only store in Thurston County selling the recalled walnut product. Other stores in other areas of the state did sell the Walnuts.

Reports indicate that at least twelve individuals in California and Washington State have fallen ill after consuming bulk organic walnut halves and pieces, with six cases reported locally in Washington.

While no fatalities have been recorded, health officials have identified lot numbers 3325-043 and 3341-501 to be potentially affected by the contamination.

Olympia Food Co-op responded to the recall, confirming that while they did not stock walnuts from the specified lots, they are proceeding with safety measures.

"When we received the recall notice, there were no walnuts from these lots at either store. Our supplier indicates that the walnuts were potentially shipped to 19 states and dozens of retail outlets, so in an abundance of caution we are proceeding as if we did receive and sell some of them, at some point since October," Olympia Food Co-op stated.

Customers who purchased bulk organic walnuts from their east side store during the specified timeframe are encouraged to discard the products and avail themselves of refunds offered by Olympia Food Co-op.

The store has started cleaning and sanitization procedures for its bulk bins and has issued notices on its social media, email, and website.

“People who purchased organic walnut halves and pieces from bulk bins at our Eastside store (PLU 2827) should check their pantries, refrigerators, and freezers and should not eat the walnuts,” Olympia Food Co-op said. “If you have these products in your home, do not eat or use them, throw them away and wash items and surfaces that may have touched the walnuts using hot soapy water or a dishwasher.

“The possible purchase dates are from October 1, 2023 to April 29, 2024," the store clarified.”

According to the FDA, symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, and vomiting, with children under 5 years old at higher risk of severe illness.

Those who consumed walnuts should check the list of stores that are selling the recalled walnut product, and contact your healthcare provider if you are showing symptoms of the E. coli infection.

You may also ask the store you bought the walnuts from if they are carrying the walnut brand, and if so, dispose of them, and wash or clean the container and surfaces that the walnuts have touched with hot, soapy water.

Those uncertain about the origins of their walnuts or to check other recalled products may check the DOH Food Recalls and Alerts website.

Further information regarding the recall and E. coli can be found through the FDA website, DOH website, CDC website, and the Gibson Farms website.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here