Category Archives: botulism

Research – Study reveals Botulism impact in Italy

Food Safety News


Italian researchers have looked at botulism trends over two decades including a large outbreak in 2020.

Italy has one of the highest botulism rates in Europe with one factor being a strong home canning tradition in the country. From 1986 to September 2022, 406 botulism incidents involving 599 people were laboratory confirmed.

The study described the surveillance system as well as information on botulism cases reported by local health services and those from hospital discharge forms from 2001 to 2020.

Botulism is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food. However, they can start as soon as six hours after or as long as 10 days later.

Symptoms can include general weakness, dizziness, double-vision, and trouble speaking or swallowing. It paralyzes respiratory muscles so most patients must be placed on life support. Difficulty breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distention and constipation may also occur. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.



Since the beginning of the week, six people with a previous diagnosis of botulism have been hospitalized in different regions of Ukraine – Volyn, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Rivne, Kherson and Kyiv. Among the causes of the disease, experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call the use of fried and dried river fish of their own cooking or unknown production, home canned food. 

We remind you that botulism is a food poisoning that can lead to serious consequences. In summer, when the air temperature rises, you should pay attention to the conditions of storage and cooking. Therefore, to protect against botulism, you should avoid the following products if you have doubts about their quality and storage / transportation conditions:  

  • dried, smoked, salted and canned fish;
  • canned meat and mushrooms;
  • home canned food.

Symptoms of botulism:

  • visual impairment – you can’t read the text, but you can see objects well;
  • severe dry mouth;
  • difficult to speak (voice becomes quiet, hoarse or disappears);
  • increased fatigue, muscle weakness;
  • dizziness;
  • short-term signs of damage to the digestive system (nausea, vomiting, weak stools), and then – the stage of intestinal paresis (bloating, constipation);
  • lesions of the muscles of the neck and limbs.

Symptoms of botulism often appear gradually, without sharp rises in temperature, so there is an illusion of frivolity. Later there is a visual impairment – one of the first signs of botulism. At the same time there is thirst, dryness of the mucous membranes, swallowing disorders, may change the tone of voice. Patients complain of a feeling of “lump” in the throat, pain when swallowing, sore throat.

Neurological symptoms last for several days and are accompanied by a general toxic syndrome – patients complain of severe headache, dizziness, insomnia, general weakness, fever. In severe cases, patients are concerned about the feeling of shortness of breath. Respiratory failure develops, which is the cause of death in botulism.

At the slightest suspicion of botulism, see a doctor immediately! 

USA – Suspected botulism death prompts warning about home-canned food

Food Safety News

Public health officials in Washington state are urging people to practice safe procedures for home canning after a man died during the weekend.

The man, from Grays Harbor County, was between 55 and 65 years old, according to a news release from the public health department. 

The department has not yet released any other information about the man, except to say it is believed he died from botulism poisoning. Testing is ongoing to confirm the cause of death.

“Grays Harbor County Environmental Health assisted the property owner with the safe disposal of around 170 pint-sized jars of home-canned food and canning jars per CDC guidelines,” according to the county’s news release. 

Botulism is odorless and cannot be seen or tasted; however, even a small taste of food containing the toxin can be deadly, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease control and Prevention, the county release warns.

Ukraine – Botulism in Ukraine 2021: 98 cases, 10 deaths

Outbreak News Today

CDC Clost Spore

The Ukraine Ministry of Health reported 88 outbreaks of botulism in 2021, as a result of which 98 people became ill, including three children. Ten cases were fatal.

79 patients were given anti-botulinum serum.

This compares to 2020 when Ukraine reported 65 cases and four deaths.

In 2021, cases of botulism were registered in all regions of Ukraine, except Zakarpattia, Luhansk and Mykolaiv regions. The highest number of cases was registered in Volyn oblast – 9, eight cases were recorded in Zhytomyr, Lviv and Chernihiv oblasts and seven cases were reported in Cherkasy oblast.

The main causes of botulism food poisoning were the consumption of dried / salted / dried freshwater fish of home cooking or of unknown origin, which was purchased on the natural markets (30 cases – 30.6%), canned home-cooked meat (30 cases – 30.6%) .

Food borne botulism is a severe intoxication caused by eating the preformed toxin present in contaminated food.

Ukraine – Four hospitalized with botulism after eating homemade canned mushrooms

Outbreak News Today

In Sumy Oblast in northeastern Ukraine, four people were hospitalized with botulism after eating homemade canned mushrooms at a dinner in the city of Lebedin.

According to the medical director of the Clinical Center for Infectious Diseases and Dermatology, Krasovitsky Irina Trotskaya, two victims were hospitalized at the center for infectious diseases in Sumy, two remained to be treated in the city hospital.

So far in 2021, Ukraine has reported 80 foodborne botulism outbreaks involving 89 patients, including three children.

In most cases, botulism in Ukraine is due to the consumption of dried and salted freshwater and sea fish (40%), meat, fish, vegetables, mushroom canned food and other meat products made at home or bought in unauthorized places.

Australia Research – Monitoring the incidence and causes of diseases potentially transmitted by food in Australia: Annual report of the OzFoodNet network, 2013–2015

Au Gov

This report summarises the incidence of diseases potentially transmitted by food in Australia, and details outbreaks associated with food that occurred during 2013–2015.
OzFoodNet sites reported an increasing number of notifications of 12 diseases or conditions that may be transmitted by food (botulism; campylobacteriosis; cholera; hepatitis A; hepatitis E; haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS); listeriosis; Salmonella Paratyphi (paratyphoid fever) infection; salmonellosis; shigellosis; Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli(STEC) infection; and Salmonella Typhi (typhoid fever) infection), with a total of 28,676 notifications received in 2013; 37,958 in 2014; and 41,226 in 2015.
The most commonly-notified conditions were campylobacteriosis (a mean of 19,061 notifications per year over 2013–2015) and salmonellosis (a mean of 15,336 notifications per year over 2013–2015). Over these three years, OzFoodNet sites also reported 512 outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness caused by foodborne, animal-to-person or waterborne disease, affecting 7,877 people, and resulting in 735 hospitalisations and 18 associated deaths.
The majority of outbreaks (452/512; 88%) were due to foodborne or suspected foodborne transmission. The remaining 12% of outbreaks were due to waterborne or suspected waterborne transmission (57 outbreaks) and animal-to-human trans-mission (three outbreaks). Foodborne and suspected foodborne outbreaks affected 7,361 people, resulting in 705 hospitalisations and 18 deaths.
Salmonella was the most common aetiological agent identified in foodborne outbreaks (239/452; 53%), and restaurants were the most frequently-reported food preparation setting (211/452; 47%). There were 213 foodborne outbreaks (47%) attributed to a single food commodity during 2013–2015, with 58% (124/213) associated with the consumption of eggs and egg-based dishes.

Ukraine- Botulism case reported in Melitopol, Ukraine, Linked to smoked mackerel

Outbreak News Today


On June 21, 2021, a case of botulism – food poisoning was registered in Melitopol- a city in Zaporizhzhia Oblast of southeastern Ukraine, according to the city health department.

The patient is a 65-year-old man who bought cold-smoked mackerel in a retail chain and consumed it himself on June 18-19, 2021.

USA – Black Beans brought back because of Botulism risk

Food Poison Journal


Faribault Foods, Inc. is voluntarily recalling 15 ounce cans of S&W Organic Black Beans, 15 ounce cans of O Organic Brand Black Beans and 15 ounce cans of O Organic Brand Chili Beans because the cans may have a compromised hermetic seal.  The compromised hermetic seal may affect can integrity and may cause the cans to leak, bloat or allow bacteria to grow inside the product which could lead to serious illness.  Clostridium botulinum poisoning in humans can begin from six hours to two weeks after eating food that contains the toxin. Symptoms may include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness. Botulism poisoning can cause paralysis of the breathing muscles, which can result in death unless assistance with breathing (mechanical ventilation) is provided.

The recalled products were distributed nationwide in retail stores.

This event only affects the lot codes listed below:  The lot codes are printed on the bottom of the can.


Lot Number

Distribution Dates

S&W Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By JAN 31 2023  1329A 032 21 February 2021-April 2021
S& W Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 01 2023 1329A 033 21 February 2021-April 2021
S&W Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 02 2023 1329A 034 21 February 2021-April 2021
S&W Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 03 2023 1329A 035 21 February 2021-April 2021
O Organic Organic Black Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 03 2023 981A 035 21 February 2021-April 2021
O Organic Organic Chili Beans, 15 oz. Best By FEB 04 2023 978A 036 21 February 2021-April 2021

No other production codes, sizes or brands of Faribault Foods, Inc. products are affected by this recall.

Consumers who may have purchased the products listed above should return them to the store where purchased for a refund or replacement.

The recall was initiated after the firm had received consumer and customer complaints regarding failure of the hermetic seal.  The problem related to the hermetic seal failure was corrected and no other product is affected.

Canada- Updated Food Recall Warning – Kolapore Springs brand and North Shore brand smoked trout products recalled due to potential presence of dangerous bacteria – Clostridium botulinum


Recall date:
March 30, 2021
Reason for recall:
Microbiological – Clostridium botulinum
Hazard classification:
Class 1
Company / Firm:
North Shore Specialty Foods
Extent of the distribution:

Recall details

Ottawa, March 30, 2021 – The food recall warning issued on March 26, 2021 has been updated to include additional product information. This additional information was identified during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) food safety investigation.

North Shore Specialty Foods is recalling Kolapore Springs brand and North Shore brand smoked trout products from the marketplace because they may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

Recalled products

Brand Product Size UPC Codes
Kolapore Springs Smoked Trout Variable 6 27987 16383 4 All best before dates up to and including 2021 MR 31
Kolapore Springs Smoked Trout, Peppercorn Variable 6 27987 16383 4 All best before dates up to and including 2021 MR 31
North Shore Smoked Rainbow Trout Fillet Variable None All best before dates up to and including 2021 MR 31

What you should do

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Check to see if you have the recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum toxin may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.

Symptoms in adults can include facial paralysis or loss of facial expression, unreactive or fixed pupils, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, difficulty speaking, including slurred speech, and a change in sound of voice, including hoarseness.

Symptoms of foodborne botulism in children can include difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, generalized weakness and paralysis. In all cases, botulism does not cause a fever. In severe cases of illness, people may die.


This recall was triggered by CFIA test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled products from the marketplace.


There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Product photos

Printer ready version of photos

  • Kolapore Springs - Smoked trout
  • Kolapore Springs - Smoked trout, Peppercorn
  • North Shore: Smoked Rainbow Trout Fillet - Variable

Public enquiries and media

Company information
North Shore Specialty Foods: 1-705-606-1377 (Sean)
Public enquiries
Toll-free: 1-800-442-2342 (Canada and U.S.)
Telephone: 1-613-773-2342 (local or international)
Media relations
Telephone: 613-773-6600

Vietnam – Woman dies in HCMC after eating toxic vegan pate – Clostridium botulinum

VN Express


A 42-year-old woman has died and two others are in critical condition in HCMC after consuming vegan food that might have been contaminated with the botulinum toxin.

The woman, her 16-year-old daughter and 53-year-old sister had bowls of rice vermicelli on March 20. Among its ingredients was pate from an inflated can, indicating possible contamination.

All three women later developed symptoms of muscle weakness, respiratory and circulatory failure. They were rushed from the southern province of Binh Duong to the 115 People’s Hospital in HCMC. While one woman died, the other two were in critical condition as of Thursday.