Two Recent Food Recalls Related to Botulism Contamination Fears

February 2nd, 2010

Just recently, two recalls have been announced due to concerns of botulism contamination.  Boiled Horse Mackerel has been recalled by New York City’s Bao Ding Seafood, due to the possibility that it may be tainted with clostridium botulinum.  Even if the mackerel smells and looks fine, consumers are being warned not to use this product and to return it to the location where it was purchased.

During a routine inspection performed by the New York State Dept of Agriculture and Markets food inspector, it was confirmed that the fish used in the product had not been eviscerated before processing.  According to FDA reports, the product was sold in New York State in 45 oz vacuum sealed plastic bags, and anyone experiencing symptoms of botulism should seek medical attention immediately.  These symptoms include dizziness, trouble swallowing or speaking, double vision, constipation, muscle weakness and difficulty breathing.

So far, no illnesses have been linked with the recalled mackerel.

In another recall of foods distributed in New York, baby food is the issue.  Nine products under the HAPPYTOT and HAPPYBABY labels have been recalled by Nurture, Inc.  After a complaint from a consumer regarding swollen baby food packaging pouches, the Food and Drug Administration contacted the company and recommended that consumers not use any varieties of HAPPYTOT Stage 4.  HAPPYBABY Stage 1 and Stage 2 baby foods were also affected.

Swollen or leaking packages may indicate that bacteria exists in the product.  So far, no illnesses have been reported and the FDA is conducting tests to determine whether or not the botulism bacteria is present in these products.  Any products that may be contaminated should be discarded in an area where pets or children are not able to gain access to them.

Botulism can have serious and even fatal consequences if you don’t receive fast and proper Botulism treatment.  Those having eaten any of these products or experiencing symptoms should contact their doctor immediately.  The botulism infection can lead to an inability to breathe, which is the number one cause of death from this illness.  Certain individuals such as young children, older individuals, and those with compromised immune systems should be particularly cautious.

New York food poisoning attorneys know how serious foodborne illnesses can be, and advise individuals to take necessary precautions to prevent contracting or spreading these illnesses.

Take Necessary Precautions When Home Canning Foods to Prevent Risk of Botulism

February 2nd, 2010

Canning foods in your own home can put you at risk of becoming infected with Botulism food poisoning, so precautions must always be taken.  The bacteria produces toxins when placed in conditions that are oxygen-free, or anaerobic, such as a jar or can that is sealed.  Many people believe that it is possible to look at a container of home canned food and know if it is safe to eat.  Most food and preservation experts say that it is impossible to tell by looking if the botulism bacteria is present. So being extremely careful and clean is essential to botulism prevention.

When home canning foods, it is crucial that low acid foods like asparagus and green beans either be canned using a pressure canner that reaches very high temperatures in order to kill any bacteria, or that sufficient vinegar is used to prohibit the growth of bacteria.  Once removed from the can, foods should be boiled for 10 to 12 minutes as an added safety precaution.

Recently, instances of Botulism in manufactured pouches of baby food has been in the news.  It is advised that new mothers be especially cautious when canning their own baby food.

Nearly one year ago, a nurse in Spokane became seriously ill after eating a can of green beans that had been canned from vegetables in her garden.  Her children became ill as well, but suffered only mild symptoms.  The nurse was placed on a ventilator for a time.  Botulism is rare, but can be deadly in some circumstances.  The infection can be paralyzing, as the toxins descend from the head and often affect an individuals sight, blurring their vision.  Swallowing may become difficult, and if the toxins affect the respiratory system breathing becomes difficult, which is usually what happens when the infection becomes fatal.

Concerns about rising cases of Botulism have been studied because of the declining economy.  When individuals lose their jobs or are stretched financially, they grow and can more of their own foods.  This increases the risk of the Botulism infection due to improper canning techniques.

Food poisoning is usually mild, but anyone who develops Botulism symptoms should seek medical attention immediately to see if they need Botulism treatment based upon their Botulism diagnosis.  If you become infected with Botulism after eating foods prepared or manufactured by others, consider contacting a New York food poisoning attorney.  You may be entitled for compensation of costs associated with your illness, such as medical expenses and lost wages.

Botulism Blamed For Hospitalization of Baby in Scotland

December 18th, 2009

botulismsporesWhile botulism is a rare occurrence, it is often serious – and fatal.  Logan Douglas, an Oakley baby belonging to Theresa Fitzpatrick and Alex Douglas, has been hospitalized since September 19th and is in intensive care.  According to reports, the infant is on a respirator and has been paralyzed due to botulism.  While infant botulism is usually caused due to the growth of the Clostridium botulinum bacteria in a baby’s intestinal tract, it can be contracted through foods, especially canned foods.

In babies, the first sign of the disease is often constipation, followed by muscle weakness and loss of control of the head.  As with Logan, paralysis is often the result of botulism, and babies may also have difficulty feeding and a weak cry.  The most common sources of this condition in babies are corn syrup, honey or exposure to soil that is contaminated.  The spores are consumed, then multiply and produce toxins.

Foodborne botulism is caused by ingesting foods that contain the toxin.  It often interferes with nerve function which can result in paralysis. While home canned foods are often responsible for the illness, it can be contracted at restaurants and other public places.  Chili peppers, baked potatoes, green beans and beets are common sources of botulism.  When someone becomes sick after eating foods prepared in a daycare, restaurant or anywhere that food preparation resulted in illness, a food poisoning lawyer should be contacted.

Symptoms of foodborne botulism often surface approximately 12 to 36 hours after the toxin has been ingested.  These symptoms may include paralysis, difficulty breathing or swallowing, facial weakness, nausea or vomiting, and double vision.  Botulism is one of the most serious types of food poisoning, and often presents a medical emergency, as it can cause death.  Thankfully, this condition does not occur frequently; when it does, it is extremely serious.  In fact, the clostridium botulinum toxin is the most deadly natural occurring poison in existence.

If you or someone in your family becomes ill due to botulism, contact an experienced food poisoning attorney at once.  You may be facing hospitalization, paralysis, or even worse.  If the negligence of another party is to blame, you are entitled to compensation, and possibly wrongful death compensation in the event that the infection is fatal.  Hopefully, Logan Douglas will recover; botulism is an infection not to be taken lightly!