Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has investigated several cases of confirmed or suspected foodborne botulism in the state since September. Testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed four of the cases, one is still under investigation and test results are pending. All five cases occurred along the Front Range. The individuals are either hospitalized or recovering.

The department investigated the cases in September and October. Three of the cases appear to be unrelated as no common food item was identified. The last two confirmed cases were likely the result of an improperly canned shared food made in the same household.

“Five cases of foodborne botulism in the span of a few months is unusual in Colorado and is cause for concern,” said Nicole Comstock, deputy branch chief, communicable disease branch. “Botulism does not spread from person to person, so there is no risk to the public. However, these cases are a good reminder of how important it is to properly preserve and handle food in the home.”

A variety of foods can be associated with foodborne botulism, including homemade foods that were improperly canned or preserved. The most common source of home-canning related botulism cases come from foods with a low acid content, such as chiles, green beans, potatoes, beets, corn, and asparagus. Prior to these recent cases, the last confirmed cases of foodborne botulism in Colorado occurred in 2019 among a group that consumed a commercially prepared potato product held at improper temperatures.

To prevent botulism, it is important to follow proper canning and food preservation procedures. The Preserve Smart website from Colorado State University Extension provides information regarding considerations for choosing tested preservation methods and the importance of adjusting canning methods for elevation to ensure home-preserved food products are safe to enjoy.

Additional steps people can take to reduce their chances of getting botulism include:

  • Refrigerating homemade oils infused with garlic or herbs and throwing away any unused oils after four days.
  • Keeping potatoes that have been baked while wrapped in aluminum foil hot (at temperatures above 140°F) until they are served, or refrigerating them with the foil loosened.
  • Refrigerating any canned or pickled foods after you open them.
  • Before tasting or serving, boil all home-canned, low-acid vegetables for 10 minutes plus one minute for each 1,000 feet increase in elevation above sea level (e.g. at 5,000 feet, boil for 15 minutes).

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. When ingested, the toxin attacks the body’s nerves. Symptoms typically start with muscle weakness in the face and neck, and then spreads to the torso, arms, and legs. The toxin weakens muscles used for breathing which can lead to death. It is important that anyone ill with symptoms of botulism visit a health care provider immediately to be assessed.

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) Is advising consumers to avoid juices, smoothies, and sea moss gel purchased from Health is Wealth Nutrition Center located at 1674 Cranston Street in Cranston because of the potential for processing, storage, and control issues with these products. Product images are attached.

The products under investigation include:

– Health is Wealth Sea Moss Drink. This juice is sold in a variety of flavors including but not limited to Blackberry, Fruit Punch, Soursop Guanabana, Strawberry, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Mango, Guava Guayaba, and Tamarind. These products are sold in 12oz and 16oz containers.

– Health is Wealth Sea Moss Smoothie. This smoothie is sold in a variety of flavors including but not limited to Pina Coloda, Peanut Punch, Soursop/Guanabana, Cinnamon Vanilla, and Mango. These products are sold in 12oz and 16oz containers.

– Health is Wealth Sea Moss Gel. This gel is sold in a variety of flavors including Sea Moss Bladderwrack Aloe Vera Gel, Sea Moss Bladderwrack Gel, and Sea Moss Gel. These products are sold in 16 oz containers.

– Health is Wealth Sea Moss Protein Shakes. These shakes are sold in a variety of flavors including but not limited to Peanut and Cinnamon. These products are sold in 12oz and 16oz containers.

Inadequate processing allows for the survival of the toxin that can cause Botulism. Botulism can cause weakness, dizziness, double vision and trouble speaking, swallowing, or breathing. People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention.

These products should be discarded.

No illnesses have been associated with these products.

Primula Ltd. has recalled cheese spread in tubes in the United Kingdom and Ireland because of possible contamination with Clostridium botulinum due to a production fault.

Primula, part of the Kavli Group, recalled 10 varieties after finding one product contained Clostridium botulinum during a routine test and due to concerns other items in the range could be affected.

Manufacturing controls that could potentially affect safety of the products could not be demonstrated satisfactorily by the company, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) reported the issue relates to controlling factors to prevent the growth and toxin production by Clostridium botulinum. There’s currently been no reports of illness.

All 150-gram chilled Primula plain original cheese spread, cheese spread with smoked paprika, cheese spread with jalapeno, light cheese spread, cheese spread with ham, cheese spread with chive and cheese spread with prawn with best before dates from Dec. 25, 2020, to Jan. 28, 2021, are affected.

The ambient 100-gram versions of Primula original cheese spread, cheese spread with ham and cheese spread with chives with best before dates Oct. 30, to Dec 10, 2020, are also involved.

Primula Ltd. has recalled cheese spread in tubes in the United Kingdom and Ireland because of possible contamination with Clostridium botulinum due to a production fault.

Primula, part of the Kavli Group, recalled 10 varieties after finding one product contained Clostridium botulinum during a routine test and due to concerns other items in the range could be affected.

Manufacturing controls that could potentially affect safety of the products could not be demonstrated satisfactorily by the company, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) reported the issue relates to controlling factors to prevent the growth and toxin production by Clostridium botulinum. There’s currently been no reports of illness.

All 150-gram chilled Primula plain original cheese spread, cheese spread with smoked paprika, cheese spread with jalapeno, light cheese spread, cheese spread with ham, cheese spread with chive and cheese spread with prawn with best before dates from Dec. 25, 2020, to Jan. 28, 2021, are affected.

The ambient 100-gram versions of Primula original cheese spread, cheese spread with ham and cheese spread with chives with best before dates Oct. 30, to Dec 10, 2020, are also involved.

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.

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”.