The Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced the withdrawal of all products produced by Bio Gaudiano, the Italian company that manufactured and distributed botulism-tainted olives that have sickened several people, claiming the life of a woman from Helsinki, Finland. Some of the recalled olives were distributed to companies in the United States, including to distributors in Massachussetts and United Natural Foods, who sent the FoodMatch Inc., Divina Stuffed Olives to many different states.
The withdrawal of Bio Gaudiano’s entire product line is an expansion of an earlier recall of Bio Gaudiano’s almond stuffed olives. Foodborne botulism often occurs due to improper canning practices–i.e. failure to bring the product to a temperature sufficient to kill, or inactivate, the botulism bacteria–with low acid content foods, such as asparagus, green beans, beets and corn. When the bacteria are not killed, under the right conditions the still-viable bacteria can germinate and produce the dangerous toxins that cause cases of botulism.
It is likely that the investigation into Bio Gaudiano’s botulism outbreak and recall revealed that the companies practices, generally, were insufficient to prove that botulism bacteria had been killed during canning or bottling, resulting in the withdrawal of the company’s entire line of products.