State notifies Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. of possible E. coli in water system

State notifies Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. of possible E.coli in water system

KEAAU, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Health has notified the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation of possible water violations in their water system, a company spokesperson said Saturday.

The notification came after water samples from a water well in the Keaau system tested positive for E. coli bacteria.

"The problem was discovered on September 21, 2018. Since that time, the water may not have adequate disinfection and may pose a risk for customers," the corporation said in a news release Saturday.

They added the positive sample could be due to the water disinfection system not functioning properly.

Additional tests are being conducted to figure out the extent of the problem.

At this point, the corporation says no Mauna Loa mac nut products were affected by the contaminated water, and no product recalls have been issued.

"Due to multiple safeguards in place to ensure quality, Mauna Loa confirms that all products currently available in stores or previously purchased are safe for consumption. Mauna Loa Nut Corporation is committed to the highest industry standards and is working diligently to determine the cause of the potential water contamination," the corporation said in a statement.

The visitor center on Hawaii Island will remain closed during the investigation.

The E. coli bacteria can lead to diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms if ingested. The bacteria can may indicate the water could be contaminated with human or animal wastes.

In the meantime, officials are recommending that the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Water System consumers and employees not drink or consume the water at the location.

Residents seeking more information on the situation may call Lotus Pond Communications at (808) 551-1649.

This story will be updated with new details as they become available.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.