Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. is voluntarily recalling all items produced from its facility in Keaau between Sept. 6 and 21 due to potential E. coli contamination, state health officials announced today.
Department of Health officials said E. coli was detected in the Hawaii island well water and distribution system that supplies the Keaau facility at 16-701 Macadamia Road. To date, no illnesses related to the water have been reported to the state.
All retailers are to remove Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut products received after Sept. 6, as these products may have been contaminated with E. coli and are adulterated, state officials said. Consumers who purchased the recalled products should either discard the products immediately, or return them to the store where purchased.
“There is clear evidence that food produced at the Keaau facility may be contaminated and consumers may be at risk,” said state sanitation branch chief Peter Oshiro in a news release. “The Department of Health is working with the facility to ensure the safety of their drinking water and food production.”
Samples taken from the facility’s water distribution system on Sept. 5 passed testing and showed no contamination. On Friday, however, the state Health Department was notified that a water distribution system sample at the production center had tested positive for E. coli and ordered the food production operations to close.
E. coli bacteria indicates that water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes, which can cause diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms, and pose a health risk especially for infants, young children, the elderly, and people with severely compromised immune systems, health officials said.
The Mauna Loa macadamia nut facility is working with the Health Department to ensure their drinking water is safe, and will remain closed until it meets all state requirements and standards, they said.