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Botulism Causes Ohio Illnesses

Brie Zeitner of the Plain Dealer reports that two people in Ohio have been hospitalized with botulism that public health officials suspect is connected to a nationwide recall of VR Green Farms’ jarred sauces.

The two Ohio patients, both Cincinnati residents in their 20’s, were each on ventilators at one point but are improving, according to the Cincinnati Health Department. One patient is still on a ventilator and was transferred last week to an acute long-term care facility, Dr. Steven Englender, director of the department’s Center for Public Health Preparedness said in an email. The other patient is breathing unassisted and “may have been discharged by now,” he said.

Preliminary testing by the Cincinnati Health Department found evidence of Clostridium botulinum type B in a meal of pasta that contained the recalled pesto sauce. The lab is still awaiting confirmation of those results.

VR Green Farms of San Clemente, CA, is voluntarily recalling a variety of its jarred food products because they may have been improperly produced, therefore making them susceptible to contamination by Clostridium botulinum.

The recalled products include Pine Nut Basil Pesto, Pickled Farm Mix, Old World Tomato Sauce, Sundried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, Tuscan Grilling Sauce and Pasta Sauce. Photographs of these products can be found here. The products were sold at the VR Green Farms stand in San Clemente, CA, and via the Internet to consumers throughout the United States.