October 2011

An elderly woman has died as a result of botulism poisoning, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, after eating almond-stuffed olives contaminated by botulinum toxin.  According to the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District, she passed on Thursday.  Another adult member of the same family remains in hospital, and the person is said to be improving.

These illnesses are linked to recalled olives that were distributed to the USA, as well as the UK, Finland, and Germany.  The tainted olives were packed in 314ml glass jars, with a best before date of 09/2012. They were imported into Finland by Kespro as early as September 2010. The olives were sold in Finland to K-food stores KCM Big Apple (Espoo), KCM Jumbo (Vantaa) and KSM South Centre (Rovaniemi), and to a few restaurants.

According to a notice posted October 21, 2011 on the Rapid Alert System for Foods and Feeds (RASFF) and updated this morning (October 24th), these olives also were distributed to the United Kingdom and the USA. So far, neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nor Britain’s Food Standards Agency has issued a Consumer Alert or a public health advisory of any sort.

Efoodalert.com reports that botulism-tainted Italian olives have sickened two members of a family from Helsinki, Finalnd.  Both individuals reported having eaten Gaudiano Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds. Lab tests confirmed that the jar from which the two patients had eaten the olives contained botulinum toxin.

The tainted olives were packed in 314ml glass jars, with a best before date of 09/2012. They were imported into Finland by Kespro as early as September 2010. The olives were sold in Finland to K-food stores KCM Big Apple (Espoo), KCM Jumbo (Vantaa) and KSM South Centre (Rovaniemi), and to a few restaurants.

According to a notice posted October 21, 2011 on the Rapid Alert System for Foods and Feeds (RASFF) and updated this morning (October 24th), these olives also were distributed to the United Kingdom and the USA. So far, neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration nor Britain’s Food Standards Agency has issued a Consumer Alert or a public health advisory of any sort.

Screen Shot 2011-10-13 at 8.15.06 PM.pngCFE International, Canadian Fish Exporters, Inc. Auburndale, MA is recalling Salted, Smoked, Split Herring, Lot Number: 1171, Plant Code: 2406 Producer: Leslie Leger & Sons, Ltd. Cap Pele, NB, Canada. A routine sample collected at a retail store by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets found the product to be uneviscerated. Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish.

Botulinum spores can cause Botulism, a serious and potentially fatal food-borne illness. Botulism can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

The product was distributed in 18 lb wooden boxes (40-60 count) thru distributors in: CT, FL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PR, VA and packaged by retail stores in various weight range from ½ lb to 1.5 lb.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

Five of eight inmates hospitalized after becoming ill from botulism-tainted, prison-brewed alcohol have been discharged back into the Utah State Prison’s general population.

Department of Corrections spokesman Steve Gehrke confirmed Friday that the five prisoners had been released from an unspecified area hospital on Thursday; three inmates remained hospitalized in critical condition.

In all, 12 inmates were reported Oct. 5 to have become ill after consuming the brew, which had been mixed and fermented inside a plastic bag hidden in an inmate’s cell, according to the Salt Lake Valley Health Department.

Four inmates were treated at the prison medical facility, while the other eight were hospitalized with symptoms including nausea, vomiting, facial paralysis and blurry vision.