February 24, 2024

CA Warns About Botulism in U.S. Deer Antler Herbal Tea

Last week, a recall was issued for herbal tea produced by U.S. Deer Antlers Exports and Imports because of the risk of botulism food poisoning. The California Department of Public Health has issued a health warning about those products and is investigating two possible cases of botulism in Orange County residents. Both of those patients drank U.S. Deer Antlers Exports and Imports, Inc. herbal tea products in March 2017. There is no word on the condition of the patients, or if they have been hospitalized.

Deer Antler Herbal Tea Botulism Recall

U.S. Deer Antlers Exports and Imports of Los Angeles is voluntarily recalling all of their herbal tea products in plastic pouches. The 6″ x 4″ plastic tea pouches are labeled in Korean and do not include any lot codes or best by dates. These teas were sold to acupuncturists and individuals in California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. You can see pictures of the recalled teas on the CDPH web site.

Attorney Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has represented people affected by botulism food poisoning, said, “while botulism poisoning is rare, the effects can be devastating.” Call 1-888-377-8900.

You cannot smell, see, or taste the toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. A tiny, tiny amount of the toxin can cause serious illness and death. The nerve toxin causes paralysis and death. Early symptoms of this poisoning include blurred vision, double vision, drooping eyelids, a dry or sore throat, and possible nausea and vomiting. As the toxin continues to affect the body, symmetrical paralysis may follow. Later symptoms include slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and paralysis of the extremities and respiratory muscles. About 6% of those affected by this toxin die.

Officials are recommending that anyone who has these products should throw them away immediately and put them in a tightly closed plastic bag in a secure garbage can. They also recommend that you wear rubber or latex gloves when handling these products, or wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least two minutes.

If you drank these teas and have been experiencing any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. An anti-toxin is available, but hospitals must request it from the state or federal governments. The best outcomes occur when treatment is received early.


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