Botulism Outbreak in France - update
Two clusters of botulism, affecting a total of eight people, in southern and northern France have been associated with eating tapenade, a food product based on ground olives.
French authorities have recalled additional artisan products due to this outbreak. Products from the implicated producer are sold under three brand names: Terre de Mistral, Le Secret D'Anais and Les Delices de Marie Claire and were available for online purchase from the following two websites: www.chocolatprovence.com and http://www.epicerie-terroirprovence.com. A full list of products produced by the implicated producer is available on the Food Safety Authority of Ireland website.
Botulism is caused by a botulinum toxin, which is a poison produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The bacterium is commonly found in the soil in the form of spores. Botulism produces a neurological condition affecting the nerves of the body. Symptoms often begin with blurred vision and difficulty in swallowing and speaking, but sometimes diarrhoea and vomiting can occur. The disease can lead to problems with vision, and paralysis. Most cases make a recovery, but the recovery period can be many months. The disease can be fatal in 5-10% of cases. Botulism is a notifiable disease in Ireland.
More information on botulism is available on the HPSC website here.