FDA Warns of Botulism Risk for Imported Olives

An Italian company has initiated a recall of their olives due to fears of botulism contamination. The manufacturer, Charlie Brown di Rutigliano & Figli, has already distributed the products to its wholesalers, which have provided them to various restaurants and retail outlets in the United States. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company has not been aggressive or diligent enough in providing recall information to its various importers after they announced the recall late last month.

Company officials suspect that their olives may be tainted with the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, which can lead to potentially fatal illness. The brands in question include Borrelli, Bonta di Puglia, Cento, Corrado’s, Dal Raccolto, Flora, Roland, and Vantia. The associated product codes start with the letter “G,” followed by three or four digits. The recall applies to all sizes of cans, glass jars, and pouches of Cerignola, Nocerella, and Castelvetrano olives.

Symptoms of botulism, says the FDA, include general and muscle weakness, dizziness, double vision, trouble speaking or swallowing, difficulty in breathing, abdominal distension, and constipation. The FDA is asking all importers of these olives to discontinue distribution, isolate its held stocks, and notify its customers of the safety issue so that the olives don’t fall into the hands of consumers. (Local FDA offices can assist with the recall implementation.)

Repackagers who have sold the olives under different brand names or who have used them in manufacturing other foods must immediately alert the FDA. In addition, all restaurants, delicatessens, and other food-service providers should dispose of their opened containers and contact suppliers for instructions about how to handle unopened containers. The olive recall comes after Conagra recalled <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/peanut_butter_salmonella">Peter Pan peanut butter after it was linked to salmonella.

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