On October 25, 2018, at 2:15 a.m., a woman aged 30 years and her mother, aged 55 years, both of Egyptian descent, arrived at an emergency department in New Jersey in hypotensive shock after 16 hours of abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The daughter also reported blurry vision and double vision (diplopia), shortness of breath, chest pain, and difficulty speaking. She appeared lethargic and had ophthalmoplegia and bilateral ptosis. Both women were admitted to the hospital. The mother improved after fluid resuscitation, but the daughter required vasopressor support in the intensive care unit. Although the mother did not have evidence of cranial nerve involvement on admission, during the next 24 hours, she developed dysphagia and autonomic dysfunction with syncope and orthostasis and was transferred to the intensive care unit as her symptoms progressively worsened similar to those of her daughter.

Two days before admission, both women had eaten fesikh, a traditional Egyptian fish dish of uneviscerated gray mullet that is fermented and salt-cured. Fesikh has been linked to foodborne botulism, including a large type E outbreak in Egypt in 1993 (1). The Egyptian Ministry of Health has since issued public health warnings regarding fesikh before Sham el-Nessim, the Egyptian holiday commemorating the beginning of spring, during which fesikh is commonly prepared and eaten.* Foodborne botulism outbreaks associated with fesikh and similar uneviscerated salt-cured fish have also occurred in North America (2); two outbreaks occurred among persons of Egyptian descent in New Jersey in 1992 (3) and 2005 (4).

Mill Stream Corp. (Sullivan Harbor Farm) of Hancock, Maine is voluntarily recalling ten lots of Cold Smoked Salmon because it has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, 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.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was initiated because the product’s water phase salt (WPS) tested below 3.5%. This was discovered upon re-review of laboratory certificates, which were found to have incorrectly reported WPS levels. Labeling instructions state to keep refrigerated at or below 38ºF and that the product may be frozen. Because the WPS is under 3.5% the product must remain frozen until ready to consume. Product stored in the refrigerator after thawing has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.

The recalled product was sold between March 6, 2019 and September 17, 2019 in vacuum sealed packages in the following sizes: whole salmon side, 2 lb., 1 lb., 8 oz., and 4 oz.  The affected product is marked with the following lot numbers marked on the back of the packages: 7049, 7050, 7051, 7052, 7054, 7056, 7058, 7060, 7062, 7066.

The smoked salmon products were sold and distributed in ME, MA, VT, RI, NY, CT, PA, NJ, OH, UT, IA, TN, MN,CO,FL, AZ,WI, WA, GA, IL, VA, MI, TX. The products sold were through retail, wholesale and online orders.

The affected product was sold frozen by Mill Stream Corp, but may have been thawed by retailers before sale. Consumers who purchased the product frozen are advised to keep it frozen until ready to use and thaw under refrigeration immediately before use.If a consumer has refrigerated product subject to the recall, they should dispose of it immediately even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Roland Foods, LLC of New York, New York is initiating a voluntary recall of its red and black lumpfish caviar products, which were manufactured at Ora ehf in Iceland, because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, 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 Red Lumpfish Caviar and Black Lumpfish Caviar, sold in glass jars, were distributed nationwide to retailers and foodservice distributors across the United States. The UPC code is located on the back of the label, under the bar code.

The following products are subject to the voluntary recall:

Affected Product
Product Name Roland® Black Caviar Whole Grain Lumpfish Roland® Black Caviar Whole Grain Lumpfish Roland® Black Caviar Whole Grain Lumpfish Roland® Black Caviar Whole Grain Lumpfish
Item # 20002 20004 20020 20040
Batch # 206 J018803, J019622, J020834 226 223
Pack Size 2×48/2 oz 48/2 oz 2×24/3.5 oz 12X12 oz
UPC #s
Item UPC 41224200029 41224200029 41224200203 41224200401
Outside Case UPC 10041224200026 10041224200040 10041224200200 10041224200408
Carton Markings
Product Name Roland Caviar Roland Caviar Roland Caviar Roland Caviar
Item # 20002 20004 20020 20040
Batch # 206 J018803, J019622, J020834 226 223
UPC # 10041224200026 10041224200040 10041224200200 10041224200408
Other Relevant Info This product is sold as 2 cases tie wrapped together This is a repack therefore product UPC is different than item # This product is sold as 2 cases tie wrapped together
Affected Product
Product Name Roland® Red Caviar Whole Grain Lumpfish Roland® Red Caviar Whole Grain Lumpfish Roland® Red Caviar Whole Grain Lumpfish Roland® Red Caviar Whole Grain Lumpfish
Item # 20202 20204 20220 20240
Batch # 154, 155 J018821, J020767 168 175
Pack Size 2×48/2 oz 48/2 oz 2×24/3.5 oz 12×12 oz
UPC #s
Item UPC 41224202023 41224202023 41224202207 41224202405
Outside Case UPC 10041224202020 10041224202044 10041224202204 10041224202402
Carton Markings
Product Name Roland Caviar Roland Caviar Roland Caviar Roland Caviar
Item # 20202 20202 20220 20240
Batch # 154, 155 J018821, J020767 168 175
UPC # 10041224202020 10041224202044 10041224202204 10041224202402
Other Relevant Info This is sold as 2 cases tie wrapped together This is a repack therefore product UPC is different than item # This is sold as 2 cases tie wrapped together

No other sizes or lots of red and black caviar or Roland® products are affected by this voluntary recall.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing found that the product experienced a processing issue.

Another company is recalling Grained Salmon Caviar 95g made from sockeye salmon because it has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death.

AWERS Inc. of Bellevue, WA, says the Grained Salmon Caviar 95g was distributed in California, New York, Oregon, Washington and product may have further distributed to other states and Canada.

As noted in a CFIA report Aug. 15, and according to the most current recall notice posted by the FDA, the product was reviewed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and sent to a lab for testing.

“The analysis showed a lower than normal salt content, which can foster an anaerobic environment which is necessary to breed the Clostridium botulinum bacteria.” Although no Clostridium botulinum bacteria was detected in product, consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled,” according to the FDA.

No illnesses have been reported to date as of the posting of the Aug. 15 recall notice.

According to the recall notice, the recalled product is packed in a metal tin with Cyrillic lettering. The tin is green, with red and white writing with an easy open pull lid. The “BEST BEFORE OCT 07 2020” is printed on the bottom on the tin.

“This recall is being made with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum toxin may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Symptoms in adults can include paralysis of breathing muscles, facial paralysis or loss of facial expression, unreactive or fixed pupils, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, difficulty speaking or including slurred speech, and a change in sound of voice, including hoarseness.

Additionally, symptoms of foodborne botulism in children can include difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, generalized weakness and paralysis. In all cases, botulism does not cause a fever.

In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as soon as six hours or as long as 10 days after exposure.

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled Grained Salmon Caviar product and developed symptoms of botulism poisoning should immediately seek medical attention and inform their doctors about the possible exposure.

According to the recall notice, consumers must inform AWERS, Inc. if they possess any Grained Salmon Caviar 95g tins with “BEST BEORE OCT 07 2020”.

Two cases of foodborne botulism linked to hummus have been confirmed by Argentinian health authorities.

The National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices (ANMAT) reported that an investigation confirmed the botulism cases and results of an epidemiological survey determined illness was associated with a hummus product.

Hummus was sold under the brand Tsuki Macro Vegan, which is based in Palermo, Buenos Aires.

The General Directorate of Hygiene and Food Safety and ANMAT inspected the processing establishment where the product was made and imposed a ban on processing and marketing. It was also detected that the product did not have the relevant sanitary authorization.

The processing firm was asked to carry out an immediate withdrawal from the national market of all units of the implicated branded hummus.

ANMAT advised the public to refrain from consuming the product, to keep the containers closed and separated from other foods. The agency also told those who sell the products to stop marketing it.

Botulism is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food. However, they can start as soon as six hours after or up to 10 days later.

Botulism can cause symptoms including general weakness, dizziness, double-vision, and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also occur. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

The latest incident follows a different outbreak in Rancul, a town in the La Pampa province of Argentina at the start of the month with four suspected cases.

Health authorities in La Pampa reported that four people older than 57 years old were in a serious condition and needed hospital treatment. The poisoning was a result of a meal shared by seven friends in Rancul.

The suspected source is preserves such as peppers that were prepared in a homemade way by one of the people who fell ill.

Three women who were hospitalized with botulism last year in New York City were sickened after eating potato salad containing improperly home-canned peas, an investigation found.

The women survived, but all three needed prolonged intensive care and rehabilitation, according to an MMWR report published today.

The patient who canned the peas that ended up in the potato salad was unaware of the correct procedure for safely canning vegetables, said Genevieve Bergeron, MD, a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Officer with the city health department, and colleagues.

“She used a peach preserves recipe with a boiling water technique, replacing the peaches with frozen vegetables. The patient was unaware that low-acid foods (eg, vegetables) must be canned in a pressure canner rather than a boiling water canner to eliminate [Clostridium] botulinum spores,” they wrote.

Three women were hospitalized with botulism after eating contaminated potato salad.

The women were hospitalized on June 6, a day after consuming the potato salad. Their symptoms — cranial nerve palsies and respiratory failure — suggested botulism, and they were treated with botulinum antitoxin released by the CDC, Bergeron and colleagues reported. They remained in intensive care for between 34 and 54 days.

Stool specimens from all three patients tested positive for botulism neurotoxin, as did a matching sample from the salad bowl. An investigation ruled out other ingredients and confirmed that the peas were the source of the infections.

“This outbreak illustrates the importance of educating home canners on safe home-canning practices to prevent botulism,” Bergeron and colleagues wrote. “Home-canned food, even when made with commercially processed ingredients, can lead to morbidity or mortality if canned incorrectly. Safe home-canning guidelines need to be followed, especially with low- acidity foods, and when processing errors occur, foods should be discarded or reprocessed according to recommended guidelines within 24 hours.”

Smoked Alaska Seafoods, Inc. of Wasilla, AK is recalling all jars and cans of Smoked Silver Salmon in 6.5 oz. containers with the production code of AL81111133 on the bottom of the jar/can because it has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, 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 Smoked Silver Salmon was sold to distributors throughout the state of Alaska primarily in gift stores in the Anchorage and Fairbanks area.

Smoked Alaska Seafoods, Inc. produces several species of smoked salmon in flexible retortable pouches, glass jars and black two-piece metal cans.  The flexible retortable pouches are not affected by this recall.

State health officials said they are investigating a man’s death and illnesses of four others possibly related to botulism following a New Year’s Day dinner in Nome where fermented beluga whale flipper and other traditional Alaska Native foods were served.

A “big concern” is the aged beluga flipper that has tested “preliminary positive” for a botulism toxin, said Louisa Castrodale, an epidemiologist with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

State officials are awaiting final results from the flipper and other foods served at the family potluck, as well as clinical samples from those who fell ill, Castrodale said. The samples were sent to a lab in Richmond, California. Final results are expected late next week.

People close to him say Thomas Menadelook Jr., 54, an accomplished whaler raised on the Bering Sea island of Little Diomede northwest of Nome, became sick the day after eating the flipper with excruciating stomach pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing, double vision and weakness.

Menadelook, who prepared the beluga flipper, soon suffered cardiac arrest and slipped into a coma, they said. Menadelook and three other adults who got sick, all family, were treated at the hospital in Nome, then flown to the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage for treatment.

State health officials interviewed 14 people who ate food served at the potluck, said Castrodale. They learned that five had botulism-like symptoms, all adults, she said. The illnesses were limited to the dinner, and did not spark concern of a broader outbreak across the Northwest Alaska region, she said.

Del Monte Foods Inc. announced a recall of 64,242 cases of FIESTA CORN Seasoned with Red & Green Peppers due to under-processing. 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. It is important to note that there have been no reports of illness associated with these products to date. No other production codes or products are affected by this recall.

The products subject to recall are 15.25-ounce (432g) cans with the following UPC number printed on the label: 24000 02770. The product will also have one of the following “Best if Used By” dates stamped on the bottom of the can:

August 14, 2021
August 15, 2021
August 16, 2021
Sept 3, 2021
Sept 4, 2021
Sept 5, 2021
Sept 6, 2021
Sept 22, 2021
Sept 23, 2021

The product was distributed to multiple distributors and retail locations in 25 states and 12 international locations.

States: Alaska, Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

International locations: Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, El Salvador, Haiti, Guyana, Uruguay, Aruba, Panama, Saint Lucia, Suriname.

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.