July 14, 2024

Home Canned Nopales Associated with CA Botulism Outbreak

Home canned nopales are associated with a California botulism outbreak, according to news reports. Two women are in the ICU, and in all, 10 people got sick. This happened at a family party near Fresno, California. The other eight patients have been released. No new cases have been reported.

Home Canned Nopales Associated with CA Botulism Outbreak

The first people who got sick and went to the hospital were diagnosed with vertigo, Norma Sanchez, a disease specialist with the Fresno COunty Department of Public Health said in a press briefing. They were sent home.

A full scale investigation revealed that the problem was botulism. The family’s trash was investigated and other party attendees were interviewed before the toxin was traced back to home canned nopales.

The home canned nopales were processed in May. Since this outbreak was confined to home canned products, no recalls or public health alerts were issued.

This outbreak is a good reminder that home canning can be dangerous if all food safety measures are not followed carefully. When canning low acid foods such as nopales, it’s a good idea to get help and information from a state extension service before proceeding.The Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which is found in soil, grows under low acid and low oxygen conditions, producing spores, and the spores produce the toxin.

Symptoms of botulism food poisoning include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, muscle weakness, dry mouth, descending paralysis, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms usually start 18 to 36 hours after inge4sting the toxin. The paralysis will eventually affect the lungs. An antidote is available but it is administered in a hospital setting.


  1. Mary Elizabeth Keirns says

    The outbreak is also a good reminder that if you have severe vertigo, it’s perhaps best to go to the ER because you don’t know if it might be connected to something serious–botulism may not be as likely but it could be a stroke. I had severe vertigo in the Fall of 2020. I temporarily could not walk and I vomited alot that first day. Fortunately, it was probably sinusitis vertigo with vestibular migraine thrown in for good measure.

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