Botulism Olive Recall Expanded

We have written about the an olive recall that was implemented over concerns the product was contaminated with <"">Clostridium botulinum. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) expanded its recall of select types of FoodMatch, Inc. Divina Stuffed Olives.

Divina 4-Ounce Olives, Feta Cheese Stuffed

UPC: 63172352780; packaged in plastic 4-ounce cup containers with a blue label; bearing date codes: Best Used By: 11 JAN 2012 and Best Used By: 1 FEB 2012 (these date codes sold at other retail outlets have not been affected); and distributed to the following Safeway stores:

• #0583: 1606 N Ave, Spearfish, South Dakota
• #1577: 6520 S Academy Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado
• #1615: 3325 28th Street, Boulder, Colorado
• #1644: 7655 McLaughlin Road, Falcon, Colorado
• #2761: 1165 Main Street, Lander, Wyoming
• #2792: 27152 Main Street, Conifer, Colorado
• #2910: 1632 Hover Road, Longmont, Colorado
• #0853: 7625 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, Maryland
• #0942: 12 West Washington Street, Middleburg, Virginia
• #1283: 8646 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Virginia
• #1606: 9596 Old Keene Mille Road, Burke, Virginia
• #1668: 5510 Norbeck Road, Rockville, Maryland
• #1956: 14939 Shady Grove Road, Rockville, Maryland
• #2650: 43150 Broadlands Plaza, Ashburn, Virginia
• #4002: 5727 Burke Center, Burke, Virginia
• #4205: 415 14th Street SE, Washington, DC

Divina 4-Ounce Olives, Blue Cheese Stuffed

UPC 63172352790; packaged in plastic 4-ounce cup containers with a blue and yellow label; bearing the following date codes: Best Used By: 11 JAN 2012, Best Used By: 15 DEC 2011, Best Used By: 30 DEC 2011, Best Used By: 1 FEB 2012 (these date codes sold at other retail outlets have not been affected); and distributed to Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Nevada, South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington DC through the following retail stores: Genuardis, Carrs, Safeway, Pavilion, and Vons.

UNFI recalled these items due to a lack of temperature control during the distribution process. UNFI inadvertently subjected the recall items to temperature ranges above those directed by the manufacturer.

Consumers are warned not to use the recalled FoodMatch, Inc. Divina Stuffed Olives even if the food does not look or smell spoiled. And, while no illnesses have been reported, to date, botulism, as with most other foodborne illnesses, can take some time to manifest with symptoms.

As we’ve long explained, 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 foodborne 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.

Of significant note, 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 foodborne illness.

Consumers who purchased the recalled Divina Feta Cheese or Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives 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, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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