Black Bean Tortillas Recalled, May Be Tainted with Botulism

United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI is recalling select Gentes Foods Gordita Black Bean Tortillas over concerns of potential contamination with <"">Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism symptoms can include general weakness, dizziness, double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech and trouble with speaking or swallowing, and dry mouth. Difficulty in breathing; weakness of other muscles—for instance, muscle weakness that starts at the shoulders and moves progressively down the body—abdominal distension, and constipation may also be common symptoms.

Infants with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated, and have a weak cry and poor muscle tone; this all relates to the muscle paralysis caused by the bacterial toxin. If untreated, these symptoms may progress to cause paralysis of the respiratory muscles, arms, legs, and trunk. In food borne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food, but can occur as early as 6 hours or as late as 10 days. A very small amount of the toxin is sufficient to lead to very severe poisoning.

Botulism poisoning is extremely neurotoxic and can cause paralysis of breathing muscles, which can lead to death without treatment and respiratory ventilation in about eight percent of cases. People with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and children have a higher risk for botulism symptoms. Complications can include infection and aspiration pneumonia, long-term weakness, respiratory distress, and long-term nervous system problems. While antibiotics are often used in treatment, they do not always resolve the food borne illness.

To date, no reports have illness have been reported in relation to this recall and this product.

Gentes Foods Gordita Black Bean Tortillas are packed as 6 tortillas in a vacuum-packaged clear sleeve that is approximately 10 ounces in size and bears an orange label with white lettering on the clear wrapper. Gentes Foods’ 10-ounce Gordita Black Bean Tortillas with UPC 618032102021 are involved and were distributed to specific Safeway and Pak N Save stores in California. The date code is on a white sticker applied to the packaging and reads “12 7 11.” The following stores in California are involved; this date code sold at other retail outlets has not been affected:

• Safeway 1110: 1546 N Main, Salinas
• Safeway 2840: 2010 Freedom Boulevard, Watsonville
• Pak n Save 3116: 2255 Gellert Boulevard, South San Francisco
• Pak n Save 3125: 3889 San Pablo Avenue, Emeryville

The Gentes Foods Gordita Black Bean Tortillas have been recalled due to a lack of temperature control during the distribution process. UNFI inadvertently subjected the recalled tortillas to temperature ranges above those directed by the manufacturer. Consumers who purchased Gentes Foods Gordita Black Bean Tortillas from the stores involved and with the date code mentioned, should not consume these products, and are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Lisa Madsen of UNFI can be reached at 1.401.528.8634, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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