FDA Issues Botulism Warning for Stuffed Olives, Smoked Herring

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued two <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">botulism warnings; one for stuffed olives and the other smoked herring. No illnesses have been reported, to date; however, it can take up to 10 days for botulism poisoning symptoms to manifest.

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.

Bio Gaudiano Brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds
Pure Italian LLC of Watertown, Massachusetts, the United States distributor, collaborating with the manufacturer and packer, Bio Gaudiano of Italy, is recalling all sizes and lots of Bio Gaudiano Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds. The product was linked to a European botulism outbreak. According to information the FDA received from Pure Italian LLC, the product was initially distributed to retailers in Massachusetts.

Health authorities in Europe reported two cases of botulism in Finland. In both, hospitalization was required. Consumption of the recalled Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds from Italian manufacturer Bio Gaudiano has been linked to these botulism illnesses. European health authorities confirmed that samples of this recalled product tested positive for botulinum toxin, which causes botulism.

The product can be packaged in metal cans and glass jars; the 314 ml glass jars containing the recalled Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds may have been sold at SoWa farmers market in South End, Massachusetts. The following stores in Massachusetts may have repackaged and resold the almond-stuffed olives in containers that do not carry the Bio Gaudiano name: Foodies Fresh Market, Boston; Russo’s, Watertown; and Fresh Choice Supermarket, Framingham.

Consumers are advised to either return the recalled Bio Gaudiano Olives Stuffed with Almonds to the place of purchase or dispose of the potentially contaminated product in a sealed container in the trash in such a way that people and animals cannot access the discarded product. Pure Italian LLC can be reached at 1.617.372.1659 or 1.617.331.2062, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time (ET).

Leslie Leger and Sons Ltd. Brand, Salted Smoked Split Herring
Quirch Foods Co. of Miami, Florida is recalling all lots of its Leslie Leger and Sons Ltd. brand, Salted Smoked Split Herring. The Plant Reg # is 2406 and the producer is Leslie Leger and Sons LTD, Cap Pele, NB, Canada. A routine sample collected at a retail store by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets found the product to be uneviscerated. As we’ve long explained, Clostridium Botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish.

The recalled Leslie Leger and Sons Salted Smoked Split Herring was distributed in 18-pound wooden boxes (40-60 count) to supermarkets and distributors in Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, and Nassau BF. The product was packaged at the retail level as per customer request.

Distributors are advised to alert any customers they sold the recalled Salted Smoked Split Herring to and advise the distributors to notify their customers and make arrangements to return any inventory found. Retail establishments are advised to post the FDA release (the release can be accessed at: FDA: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm278741.htm) at the customers point of sale; to be aware that any product returned by their customers are to be sent back to Quirch Food for credit; and to contact Quirch Foods to arrange for product return. Howard Tenen- Director of Quality Assurance at Quirch Foods Company can be reached at 7600 NW 82 Pl, Miami, Florida, 33166 or by telephone at 1.305.691.3535 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern Standard Time (EST).

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