Italy – Food safety, episode of botulism linked to the consumption of a package of pesto and almonds



It is reported that a laboratory confirmed case of botulism occurred in Rome. 

The epidemiological investigation has identified as a suspect food a Sicilian broccoli and almond pesto which , according to the information available to date, appears to have been given as a gift about two months earlier .  

In the food exhibit analyzed by the ISS for the search for toxins and botulinum spores, which was still negative, it was reported  in the label of the glass jar.

 The biodynamic farm – Sicilian broccoli pesto and almonds.
Product grown strictly following the biodynamic method controlled by BIO -DYNAMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE and packaged by The biodynamic farm, Strada Freddano, 20 – 01100 Viterbo.
210g and Ingredients: biodynamic Sicilian broccoli, almonds.

Store in the refrigerator after opening, at a temperature of 4 ° C and consume quickly “.

No batch or expiry date was indicated on the label and on the guarantee seal of the jar .

Following the investigations of the local competent authorities at the farm  and  as declared by the current owner , it emerged that   the  pesto was produced for self –  consumption  and that from November 2021  the production of all the preserves   was  suspended  . It was not possible to trace the exact number of jars of Sicilian broccoli pesto and almonds produced, nor how many were possibly given away.

Citizens are therefore invited, as a precaution, not to consume the aforementioned Sicilian broccoli and almond pesto, possibly received as a gift, paying attention to non-compliant labeling due to lack of batch and expiry  or  even absent.

The Istituto Superiore di Sanità  represents that  Clostridium  botulinum  (botulinum) is an environmental spore-forming microorganism that can naturally contaminate raw materials and composite foods. Generally the level of environmental contamination in botulinum spores is very low and can be punctate, therefore in the same production batch, it can occur that only some packages are contaminated. Since the consumption of minimal quantities of food contaminated with botulinum toxins can cause the disease, anyone holding a jar that corresponds to the above characteristics should also avoid tasting it.

Possessors of suspicious packs can safely eliminate them using the following procedure:

  • Completely immerse the package in a pot containing water (bain marie).
  • Bring the water to a boil for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cool the package.
  • Open the package and dispose of its contents following the procedures currently used for the disposal of organic waste.

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