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.

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.

As a precaution, approximately 7,000 cases of Taco Bell Salsa Con Queso Mild Cheese Dip are being voluntarily recalled because the affected product is showing signs of product separation which can lead to a potential health hazard.

This could create conditions that could allow for the growth of Clostridium botulinum (Cbotulinum), 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.

There have been no consumer complaints or reports of illness related to this issue to date.

The following is being recalled:

Product
Size

Name of 
Product

Packaging
Description

Case Unit 
Best When
Used By 
Code Date

Individual Package 
Best When 
Used By 
Code Date

Individual
Package UPC

Case UPC
15 oz. Taco Bell Salsa Con Queso Mild Cheese Dip Glass Jar 27 DEC 2018
23 JAN 2019
27 DEC 2018
23 JAN 2019
021000024490 21000024490
01 NOV 2018
26 DEC 2018
27 DEC 2018
31 OCT 2018 27 DEC 2018
15 oz. Taco Bell Salsa Con Queso Mild Cheese Dip Glass Jar 23 JAN 2019 23 JAN 2019 021000024490 21000066900

Masstown Market is recalling Masstown Market brand Smoked Kippers and Cold Smoked Salmon from the marketplace because they may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Masstown Market Smoked Kippers Variable weight 18.MR.30 Starts with
0 208172
Masstown Market Cold Smoked Salmon Variable weight 18.MR.27
18.AL.07
18.AL.11
Starts with
0 208035

Guymon Extracts recalled about 4,202 pounds of pork soup late Tuesday night after a processing problem left the soup vulnerable to spore-forming bacteria, including the one that causes botulism.

“Botulism is a life-threatening disease caused by the ingestion of a potent neurotoxin produced during growth of the C. botulinum bacteria,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture site explains. “This neurotoxin is among the most toxic substances known; even microscopic amounts can cause illness or death.”

That’s why this is a Class 1, High Health Risk recall, which the USDA defines as, “a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.”

Despite that, the recall comes seven days after an investigator found the problem while doing a food safety assessment at the processing facility. The soup, packaged Jan. 3, went to Florida, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Washington.
Along with the botulism bacteria, the recall notice mentioned Clostridium perfringens. That bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, causes “one million cases of foodborne illness in the United States each year.”

“Pork Soup with Rendered Pork Fat (from bone)” comes in 2.2-pound bags, 10 per case, with a best-by date of Dec. 22, 2019, a lot code 010218-1 and a product code of 61306.