About Botulism

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About Botulism Blog

Unlicensed manufacturer recalls Sea Moss due to Botulism Risk

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has recalled lemonade and gel products sold by Royalty Sea Moss.

After a complaint from the Maryland Department of Health, an investigation found that Royalty Sea Moss, based out of Mt. Pleasant, MI, produced products with inadequate processing controls that are needed to stop the growth of foodborne pathogens, according to the department. 

Royalty Sea Moss also does not have a license to manufacture, hold or sell products, which is a violation against the Michigan Food Law of 2000, officials said.

The following are products noted by the department for having inadequate labeling, including ingredient statements, lot codes and sell-by dates:

Regular Sea Moss Gel

Fruit Flavored Sea Moss Gel:

  • Mixed Berry with Blueberry Strawberry Raspberry
  • Pineapple Cherry Strawberry
  • Peach Strawberry Flavor
  • Strawberry Dragon fruit
  • Mango Pineapple
  • Strawberry Banana

Sea Moss Lemonade:

  • Blue Raspberry
  • Mango
  • Lemonade
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry Peach
  • Green Apple
  • Pink Strawberry
  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Grape
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberry Kiwi
  • Cherry
  • Fruit Punch

Improperly processed food and drink has the chance to be contaminated with clostridium botulinum, an odorless bacteria which can cause life-threatening illness or even death, according to the department.

No illnesses have been reported, but consumers are warned not to use the product, even if it doesn’t look or smell spoiled, according to the department.

Chai recalled due to Botulism rick

Marietta, GA, September 29, 2022 – The Chai Box announced a recall of 16 oz glass bottles Chai Concentrate Mix, UPC 7 93611 81925 2 and 64 oz plastic bottles of Chai Concentrate Mix UPC 7 93611 81926 9 and 16 oz glass bottles Unsweetened Chai Concentrate Mix, UPC 793611819252 and 64 oz plastic bottles of Unsweetened Chai Concentrate Mix UPC 793611819269 due to potential under-processing which may lead to Clostridium botulinum contamination. These deviations were part of the commercial sterilization process and could result in contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens, which could lead to life-threatening illness if consumed. No other production codes or products are affected by this recall.

It is important to note that there have been no reports of illness associated with this product to date.

The products subject to recall are 16 oz glass bottles and 64 oz plastic bottles with Best By dates between 09/22/2022 and 03/16/2023. Please see that attached photos for ease of identification of the products.

We were notified of the problem during a process review by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The products were shipped nationwide to consumers, retailers and wholesalers. Some product was also shipped to two consumers in Canada. Product is available online and via retail and wholesale facilities.

Bread recalled over Botulism risk

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King’s Hawaiian is voluntarily recalling its Pretzel Slider Buns, Pretzel Hamburger Buns and Pretzel Bites products out of an abundance of caution following a recall of an ingredient used in the pretzel products from one of its suppliers, Lyons Magnus. Lyons Magnus is recalling this ingredient due to the potential for it to cause microbial contamination including from the organisms Cronobacter sakazakii and Clostridium botulinum. While no illnesses associated with King’s Hawaiian pretzel bread have been reported, and no pathogens have been found in any King’s Hawaiian products to date, the recall is being conducted to ensure consumer safety.

This recall does not impact any other King’s Hawaiian products, as no other products use this ingredient from Lyons Magnus. King’s Hawaiian will resume producing all pretzel products once the company has ensured all current product has been disposed of and has confirmed the safety of all ingredients.

Consumers in possession of any King’s Hawaiian Pretzel Slider Buns, King’s Hawaiian Pretzel Hamburger Buns or King’s Hawaiian Pretzel Bites should dispose of the product. Consumers can contact King’s Hawaiian at 877-695-4227, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT, if they have any questions, or to request replacement product.

King’s Hawaiian advises that consumers in possession of any King’s Hawaiian Pretzel Slider Buns, King’s Hawaiian Pretzel Hamburger Buns or King’s Hawaiian Pretzel Bites should dispose of the product.

Washington man dies of botulism from home-canned food

This past weekend, a Grays Harbor County man aged 55-65 passed away from a probable cause of botulism. No further information on the deceased is available. Confirmation of the cause of death is pending confirmatory test results.

Grays Harbor County Environmental Health assisted the property owner with the safe disposal of around 170 pint-sized jars of home-canned food and canning jars per CDC guidelines.

Botulism is odorless and cannot be seen or tasted; however, even a small taste of food containing the toxin can be deadly, according to the CDC.

The CDC stresses that home canning, while a fun and productive way to preserve everything from seafood to vegetables, can put people at risk of botulism if not done correctly.

Using proper canning techniques, the right kind of equipment, and disposing of any canned foods that may not have been properly preserved is the best way to keep your home canned goods safe.

Two excellent resources for safe canning practices include the CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/home-canning-and-botulism.html – and Washington State University Extension Grays Harbor – https://extension.wsu.edu/graysharbor/family/food/.

If you’re new to canning or need a refresher, the USDA has a great resource, the Complete Guide to Home Canning, available for free download at https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/usda/GUIDE01_HomeCan_rev0715.pdf.

Beans Recalled over Botulism risk

Faribault Foods, Inc. is voluntarily recalling 15 ounce cans of S&W Organic Black Beans, 15 ounce cans of O Organic Brand Black Beans and 15 ounce cans of O Organic Brand Chili Beans because the cans may have a compromised hermetic seal.  The compromised hermetic seal may affect can integrity and may cause the cans to leak, bloat or allow bacteria to grow inside the product which could lead to serious illness.  Clostridium botulinum poisoning in humans can begin from six hours to two weeks after eating food that contains the toxin. Symptoms may include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness. Botulism poisoning can cause paralysis of the breathing muscles, which can result in death unless assistance with breathing (mechanical ventilation) is provided.

The recalled products were distributed nationwide in retail stores.

This event only affects the lot codes listed below:  The lot codes are printed on the bottom of the can.

Product

Lot Number

Distribution Dates

S&W Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By JAN 31 2023  1329A 032 21 February 2021-April 2021
S& W Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 01 2023 1329A 033 21 February 2021-April 2021
S&W Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 02 2023 1329A 034 21 February 2021-April 2021
S&W Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 03 2023 1329A 035 21 February 2021-April 2021
O Organic Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 03 2023 981A 035 21 February 2021-April 2021
O Organic Organic Chili Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 04 2023 978A 036 21 February 2021-April 2021

No other production codes, sizes or brands of Faribault Foods, Inc. products are affected by this recall.

Consumers who may have purchased the products listed above should return them to the store where purchased for a refund or replacement.

The recall was initiated after the firm had received consumer and customer complaints regarding failure of the hermetic seal.  The problem related to the hermetic seal failure was corrected and no other product is affected.

What to know about Botulism

Botulism is a life-threatening paralytic illness caused by neurotoxins produced by an anaerobic, gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium—Clostridium botulinum. 

Foodborne botulism is the type that is typically associated with classic botulism symptoms; it is caused by eating foods or ingesting substances that contain botulinum toxin. In foodborne botulism, it is the pre-formed toxin that causes illness, not the bacterium itself. The incidence of foodborne botulism is extremely low, usually fewer than 25 cases per year in the United States. Nonetheless, the extreme risk to public health posed by the toxin requires  that “intensive surveillance is maintained for botulism cases in the United States, and every case is treated as a public health emergency.” Botulism poisoning carries a mortality rate of up to 65% when victims are not treated immediately and properly. Medical treatment is supportive (including mechanical ventilation if required), and an antitoxin may be given to bind free toxin and reverse or delay the progression of symptoms, when used early in the course of illness. Most foodborne botulism reported annually in the United States is associated with home-canned foods that have not been safely processed. Occasionally, though, commercially processed foods are implicated in botulism poisoning, including sausages, beef stew, canned vegetables, and seafood products.

Cheese recalled over Botulism risk

Primula Ltd. has recalled cheese spread in tubes in the United Kingdom and Ireland because of possible contamination with Clostridium botulinum due to a production fault.

Primula, part of the Kavli Group, recalled 10 varieties after finding one product contained Clostridium botulinum during a routine test and due to concerns other items in the range could be affected.

Manufacturing controls that could potentially affect safety of the products could not be demonstrated satisfactorily by the company, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) reported the issue relates to controlling factors to prevent the growth and toxin production by Clostridium botulinum. There’s currently been no reports of illness.

All 150-gram chilled Primula plain original cheese spread, cheese spread with smoked paprika, cheese spread with jalapeno, light cheese spread, cheese spread with ham, cheese spread with chive and cheese spread with prawn with best before dates from Dec. 25, 2020, to Jan. 28, 2021, are affected.

The ambient 100-gram versions of Primula original cheese spread, cheese spread with ham and cheese spread with chives with best before dates Oct. 30, to Dec 10, 2020, are also involved.

Botulism in Alaska linked to home canned Salmon

TEXAS HEALTH ALERT: Infant Botulism and Risk of Honey

Honey can contain spores of Clostridium botulinum, an organism that produces a potent neurotoxin known to cause severe illness in infants. Infant botulism occurs when C. botulinum spores in food, dust, or other materials are inhaled or ingested and germinate in the gut of infants who have not yet developed mature intestinal flora. For this reason, parents are advised not to feed honey (raw or otherwise) to children younger than 12 months old.

Infant botulism: Symptoms of botulism in infants under 12 months of age typically start with constipation and may include poor feeding and/or weak sucking, weakness, drooping eyelids, loss of head control and difficulty breathing. Severity can range from mild illness with gradual onset to paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. Prompt recognition of a suspect case, administration of antitoxin, and initiation of supportive care can halt progression of the disease.

The Texas Department of State Health Services will coordinate confirmatory testing at the DSHS laboratory. To obtain the antitoxin (Baby BIG) for treatment, physicians can contact the DSHS Emerging and Acute Infectious Disease Branch or the California Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Program.

Recent trends: Cases are rare; between 2013 and 2017, Texas has averaged 7 to 8 cases of infant botulism annually. However, since August, four patients have been treated for infant botulism and have a history of using a honey pacifier purchased in Mexico.

Investigators noted that these honey pacifiers and other food-containing pacifiers are available for sale at retailers as well as online, and that parents may not be aware of their potential danger.

Recommendations: Infants (children less than 12 months of age) should not be given honey, or pacifiers containing honey or other food products, because of the risk of contracting infant botulism. Consumption of honey is widely recognized as a risk factor for infant botulism by healthcare and public health professionals.

Infant botulism is a serious illness that requires urgent medical attention. All suspect cases should be immediately reported to public health officials.

Botulism Risk in LA Heroin

Los Angeles County officials have detective three new cases of suspected botulism associated with the use of black tar heroin.

Three more cases were discovered in June, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a prepared statement.

Six cases in one summer is unusual, DPH Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said.

“We normally see two to three cases of botulism among heroin users per year, so this is a significant increase,” he said. “We are asking community providers and partners, particularly those serving people that use heroin such as substance use providers, to inform patients and colleagues about the increased risk.”

There are no visible signs that heroin is tainted , health officials said. Heating, or “cooking,” the drugs won’t kill the bacteria.

While the illness cannot be transmitted from person to person, sharing contaminated needles can spread it, according to the health department warning. The risk is greatest when the drug is injected.

Officials warn that botulism is a serious and potentially deadly condition.

Symptoms include drooping eyelids, blurred vision or double vision, difficulty speaking or swallowing and shortness of breath. They may occur within days or weeks of injecting the contaminated heroin, and can be mistaken for a drug overdose.

Health officials are being reminded to consider the possibility of botulism when treating heroin-using patients showing neurological symptoms.

Davis urged anyone trying to kick a heroin addiction to contact the DPH’s Substance Abuse Service Helpline at 844-804-7500.

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