November 23, 2014

Botulism Outbreak in Western Alaska

Clostridium botulism

According to Alaska Dispatch News, state officials are investigating a botulism outbreak in Western Alaska. Two people have been sickened and one person died after eating a meal of fermented fish heads. The patients lived in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. Samples of food are being tested, and samples from people who have been sick are being examined for the botulinum toxin. If the death is confirmed as from botulism poisoning, it will be the first death in that state from botulism since 2007. The person who died complained of seeing double and feeling sick after eating the fish. Botulism toxin is produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The bacteria grows in anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions, such as in canned low-acid foods. A tiny amount of the toxin is enough to kill a person. … [Read more...]

Botulism Outbreak Linked to Chili Sauce Sickened 8

VR Green Farms Botulism Recall

Recalled jarred sauces made by VR Greens have hospitalized two people in Ohio with botulism poisoning. The products, which included pesto sauce, tomato sauce and pasta sauce were not properly processed. Botulism, a severe, sometimes fatal, form of food poisoning caused by ingesting a nerve toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, is rare. Less than 30 cases of foodborne botulism are reported annually in the United States. Most botulism outbreaks are caused by home-canned foods that are improperly processed, but some have been linked to commercially-produced foods. Outbreaks have been linked to canned salmon, smoked fish, Italian olives, bottled garlic and baby food. Restaurant foods including sauteed onions, chopped bottled garlic, potato salad and baked potatoes have also … [Read more...]

Richard’s Too Good BBQ Sauces Recalled for Botulism Risk

richard's-recall-botulism

Richard’s Rubs & Seasonings is recalling Richard’s Too Good BBQ Sauce, Richard’s Too Good Hot Sauce and Richard’s Too Good Teriyaki Sauce for possible botulism risk. Botulism is a potentially fatal foodborne illness. The sauces were improperly processed and have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a nerve toxin which can cause botulism. Botulism, which causes paralysis, cannot be spread from person to person. Symptoms, which usually develop within 12 to 36 hours of exposure, include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness beginning with facial muscles and moving down. Respiratory failure occurs when it reaches the muscle groups that control lung function. Anyone who ate one of the … [Read more...]

Healdsburg Pickling Company Foods Recalled for Botulism Risk

canned-veggies-botulism-risk

Healdsburg Pickling Company of California is recalling jarred food products because they may have been improperly processed, making them susceptible to contamination with Clostridium Botulinum. If you consume the botulinum toxin, you could have a serious illness. No illnesses are linked to these products at this time. Pickles, Pickled Green Beans, and Pickled Carrots are being recalled. They were sold under the Healdsburg Pickling Company label and packaged in quart and pint glass jars with screw-on metal lids. The products do not have any coding, UPC numbers, or "use by" dates. The products were only sold at The Cheese Shop at 423 Center Street in Healdsburg, California, and at Perry's Deli at 12301 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Inverness Park, California. If you purchased any of these … [Read more...]

Botulism from Canned Food Spawns MS Man’s 3-Year Survival Struggle

Canned Food

On Thanksgiving weekend 2011, Jay Klein of Mississippi ate some canned food that almost killed him. The former construction worker didn't know what was happening to him, that a nerve toxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria in the food he ate was paralyzing his muscles. Neither did the emergency room doctors who placed him on a ventilator. Six days after Klein was admitted, they prepared to tell his wife Amanda that he was brain dead, although he was actually fully conscious. Klein, who recently shared his story with WMCTV, says he was aware of what was happening but unable to move more speak. He prayed that God would help him show the doctors he could hear and understand and somehow when the doctor told him to move his leg, Klein did. After almost three years in and out … [Read more...]

Jailhouse Wine: Compost Pile Aroma with a Finish of Botulism

Prison

Prisoners who drink jailhouse wine are often among the small number of Americans sickened by foodborne botulism each year. Batches of jailhouse wine, sometimes called pruno or hooch, are ideal breeding grounds for the bateria that causes botulism, a life-threatening disease that paralyzes muscle groups starting at the head and working its way down.  When the nerve toxins reach the muscles that control breathing, botulism is fatal without medical intervention. A recent study looked at a 2011 outbreak at a Utah prison that sickened eight people. The prisoners became ill after drinking the pruno. In three of them, the disease had progressed to the muscle groups affecting their lungs. They were intubated to prevent respiratory failure. Botulism cannot be spread from person to person. … [Read more...]

Botulism Outbreak in Amarillo

botulism

Health officials in Amarillo are investigating an outbreak of botulism, a rare, paralytic illness that can be fatal. At least four people are believed to have eaten something contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacteria that produces a nerve toxin that causes paralysis. All four remain hospitalized and are slowly recovering. Botulism is not spread from person-to-person contact. Symptoms of foodborne botulism usually develop within 12 to 36 hours of exposure and include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness that usually begins at the shoulders and moves down. If the infection reaches the muscles that control breathing, botulism can be fatal without mechanical ventilation. Recovery can take weeks or … [Read more...]

Big Blue Fisheries Recalls Smoked Fish For Botulism Risk

big-blue-botulism

Big Blue Fisheries is recalling all smoked fish products due to botulism risk. All lots, codes and sizes sold in vacuum packages are being recalled because the products may not have been properly cooked and have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that causes botulism, which can be life-threatening or fatal. Consumers who have purchased this product should not eat it. To date, there have been no reported illnesses or consumer complaints. Botulism symptoms include: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation can also occur Anyone with these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. The recall was issued after … [Read more...]

FDA Improves Reporting for Canned Foods Manufacturers

FDA

If improperly processed, canned foods can contain botulism, a toxin that can paralyze and kill human beings. The FDA is making it easier for manufacturers of acidified and low-acid canned foods to submit information about the manufacturing process and to improve the accuracy of that information. The Agency will begin using forms that are specific to the different industry manufacturing processes. Forms for low-acid retorted method, acidified method, water activity control method, and low-acid aseptic systems will now be separate. This will help the FDA ensure the safety of these higher risk foods. Stakeholders will be able to comment on these forms before they are put into use. In the next few days, FDA will issue a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of public … [Read more...]

Five Prison Hooch Botulism Outbreaks In 8 Years

Prison

Prison hooch has been the source of five botulism outbreaks in the last eight years, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Hooch, or pruno, is illicit alcohol prisoners make from rotting fruit. The most recent outbreak was in November 2012, when eight inmates at the Arizona State Prison Complex -Eyman in Florence, Ariz.,  contracted botulism from prison hooch.  The inmates, who ranged in age from 20 to 35 experienced symptoms including blurred or double vision,  muscle weakness,  difficulty swallowing and  impaired gag reflex. All of them were hospitalized and received the botulism antitoxin. Seven of the patients experienced respiratory muscle paralysis were intubated and fed through feeding tubes.  After 11-14 days of intubation, the … [Read more...]

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