Macadamia nut products recalled over possible contamination

HONOLULU (AP) — Macadamia nut products produced on the Big Island earlier this month are being voluntarily recalled because of potential E. coli contamination, state health officials said.

All retailers are to remove Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut products received after Sept. 6 as the products may have been contaminated with E. coli and are adulterated, state officials said.

The affected products made between Sept. 6 and Sept. 21 include roasted salted macadamia nuts, honey roasted macadamias, maui onion garlic macadamia nuts, chocolate macadamia nuts and shortbread cookies.

Health officials have warned against eating these products. Customers with such products are advised to discard them immediately or attempt to return them to the store where they were purchased.

Detection of E. coli was found Friday in the well water and distribution system supplying the company’s facility in Kea’au.

Mauna Loa was notified on the possible water violations in its water system on Saturday, a company spokesperson said.

However, over the weekend, the company insisted that their products were still safe to eat “due to multiple safeguards in place to ensure quality.”

“That was a misstatement on their part. That was something that should not have been said,” Peter Oshiro, the Department of Health’s environmental health program manager, told Hawaii News Now.

As of Monday, no illnesses related to the water had been reported to the state.

“The Department of Health is working with the facility to ensure the safety of their drinking water and food production,” Oshiro said.

The Mauna Loa macadamia nut facility will remain closed until it meets all Sanitation Branch and Safe Drinking Water Branch requirements and standards.

Operations will be allowed to resume once the department has ensured that the drinking water at the facility is safe, the department said.


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