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By News Desk on September 28, 2018

Hawaii officials are investigating E. coli contamination in well water that has prompted the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut company to recall more than 20 products.
“There is clear evidence that food produced at the Kea‘au facility may be contaminated and consumers may be at risk,” said Peter Oshiro, sanitation branch chief for the Hawaii Department of Health. “The Department of Health is working with the facility to ensure the safety of their drinking water and food production.”

No illnesses have been confirmed in relation to the recalled Mauna Loa nuts and cookies, according to state health officials and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Both agencies are warning the public to not eat any of the recalled products. They should be thrown away immediately or returned to the place of purchase.

Neither FDA nor the Hawaii health department reported whether the contaminated well water is used by any other food companies, retailers or restaurants.

“On Sept. 5, samples taken from facility’s water distribution system passed testing and showed no contamination,” according to a statement posted by the Hawaii health department. “On Sept. 21, the DOH was notified that a water distribution system sample at the production center tested positive for E. coli and the food production operations were closed by order of DOH.

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

The Keaau company produced the recalled snacks between Sept. 6 and 21 and distributed them to retailers in Hawaii. Neither the state department nor the FDA posted any photos of the recalled products. The Mauna Loa company did not appear to have any information about the contaminated water or its recall on its website as of Sept. 27.

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