The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning regarding a multistate outbreak of E. coli linked to organic walnuts sold in bulk bins, as it investigates the situation.

The outbreak linked to contaminated walnuts sold from Gibson Farms, Inc. of Hollister, California, has led to 12 reported cases of illness and seven hospitalizations in California and Washington.

According to the CDC's investigation, most of these cases are connected to the consumption of organic walnuts purchased from bulk bins at natural food stores and co-ops.

"CDC has received reports of 12 people from 2 states who have been infected with this outbreak strain of E. coli. Seven people have been hospitalized and 2 people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported. Almost all sick people purchased organic walnuts from bulk bins in food co-ops or natural food stores in California and Washington," the CDC news release stated.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a rare but potentially serious kidney condition that results in kidney failure.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided a list of store names and locations where products have been recalled. The tainted walnuts have been distributed across 19 states, including Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

The FDA is investigating to determine the exact source of contamination and if more products or states are impacted. In the meantime, officials urged consumers to check if they have purchased organic walnut halves and pieces included in the recall and to cease consumption of these items.

"Check your pantries, refrigerators, and freezers for walnuts. If you can't tell if it's part of the recall, it's safer not to eat them. Wash items and surfaces that may have touched the walnuts using hot soapy water or a dishwasher. Call your healthcare provider if you have any severe E. coli symptoms," the CDC warned.

Know the symptoms of E-coli:

E. coli symptoms can differ widely among individuals. While some may experience mild infections, others can face severe or life-threatening conditions. Typical signs include intense stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), vomiting, and mild fever. Most people recover within a week of contracting the illness.

However, if diarrhea persists for over 3 days, becomes bloody, is accompanied by a high fever, or if vomiting is severe enough to prevent liquid intake and leads to reduced urination, it's advisable to seek medical attention from a healthcare provider.