March 2013

The public warning issued on March 15, 2013 has been expanded to include additional products because the products may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume the Bar Clams and Bar Clam Stew described below because they may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum. Toxins produced by these bacteria may cause botulism, a life-threatening illness.

The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

Affected products:

Brand Name

Common Name

Size

Codes(s) on Product

UPC

St.Thomas

Bar Clams 210 g (drained weight) Located on the cover of the jar – 03631, 03632, 03834, 03835, 03933, 03934, 03935, 03936, 03938, 05231, 05232, 05233, 05331, 05332, 05333, 05334, 05431, 05432, 05433, 05931, 05934 0 81971 90013 1

St.Thomas

Bar Clams 100 g (drained weight) Located on the cover of the jar – 01235, 02131 0 81971 90071 1

St.Thomas

Bar Clam Stew 495g (17 oz) Located on the cover of the jar – 05831, 05832, 05932 05933 0 81971 90058 8

Jars of bar clams sold in P.E.I. and New Brunswick may contain the toxin that causes botulism, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has warned.

St. Thomas Fish Market in New Brunswick is voluntarily recalling its product, St. Thomas bar clams, because they may contain Clostridium botulinum.

Toxins produced by the bacteria can cause botulism, a life-threatening illness.

There have been no illnesses reported, said the agency.

Food contaminated with these bacteria might not look or smell spoiled.

Symptoms include vomiting, blurred vision, slurred speech and muscle paralysis. Anyone with concerns should call their physician.

A committee of advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given its stamp of approval to an antitoxin designed to treat patients with botulism.

In a unanimous decision announced last week, the 18-member Blood Products Advisory Committee voted to recommend the heptavalent botulinum antitoxin (HBAT), developed by a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to the federal agency for approval.

HBAT is the only botulinum antitoxin currently available for use in the U.S. It is currently an investigational product controlled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Doctors must seek approval from CDC in order to administer HBAT to patients.

The antibodies contained in HBAT target all seven known types of botulinum toxins, which attack the nervous system of infected individuals and can cause paralysis or even death.

These neurotoxins infect humans through wounds or contaminated food, and have also been identified as a potential agent of biological warfare.

The drug, developed by Cangene Corporation of Fort Garry, Winnipeg, works to prevent internalization of the toxin in the nerves.

It was used on 148 patients in the U.S. between January of 2008 and December of 2012 at part of CDC’s trial program, according to the company’s briefing document for the committee. Adminisration of HBAT within two days of symptom onset significantly reduced the duration of hospitalization for patients.

FDA will decide whether to approve HBAT for licensing, under the proprietary name BAT™, in March of this year.