Category Archives: Clostridium botulinum

Research – Recent Developments in Botulinum Neurotoxins Detection

MDPI

kswfoodworld

Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced as protein complexes by bacteria of the genus Clostridium that are Gram-positive, anaerobic and spore forming (Clostridium botulinumC. butyricumC. baratii and C. argentinense spp.). BoNTs show a high immunological and genetic diversity. Therefore, fast, precise, and more reliable detection methods are still required to monitor outbreaks and ensure surveillance of botulism. The botulinum toxin field also comprises therapeutic uses, basic research studies and biodefense issues. This review presents currently available detection methods, and new methods offering the potential of enhanced precision and reproducibility. While the immunological methods offer a range of benefits, such as rapid analysis time, reproducibility and high sensitivity, their implementation is subject to the availability of suitable tools and reagents, such as specific antibodies. Currently, the mass spectrometry approach is the most sensitive in vitro method for a rapid detection of active or inactive forms of BoNTs. However, these methods require inter-laboratory validation before they can be more widely implemented in reference laboratories. In addition, these surrogate in vitro models also require full validation before they can be used as replacement bioassays of potency. Cell-based assays using neuronal cells in culture recapitulate all functional steps of toxin activity, but are still at various stages of development; they are not yet sufficiently robust, due to high batch-to-batch cell variability. Cell-based assays have a strong potential to replace the mouse bioassay (MBA) in terms of BoNT potency determination in pharmaceutical formulations; they can also help to identify suitable inhibitors while reducing the number of animals used. However, the development of safe countermeasures still requires the use of in vivo studies to complement in vitro immunological or cell-based approaches. View Full-Text

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

Salute

kswfoodworld

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.

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.

USA -Soul Cedar Farm Recalls Zesty Sweet Peppers for Possible Botulism

AGR

Soul Cedar Farm in Quilcene, Washington is voluntarily recalling all batches of shelf-stable Zesty Sweet Peppers because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum toxin, according to the Washington State Department of Health. As of April 19, 2022 there are no reports of illness that are associated with the consumption of this product.

Argentina – Two botulism cases reported in Buenos Aires – Clostridium botulinum

Outbreak News Today

Two women have been hospitalized for botulism, including one in serious condition, according to a La Voz report.

The patients ate matambre (Argentian flank steak) and Russian salad delivered from a  traditional restaurant in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Boedo.

“The salad is prepared with boiled potatoes and carrots and dried peas soaked in a can, with salt and mayonnaise added. Orders are shipped in disposable plastic containers with lids, and they include four slices of homemade matambre along with a portion of Russian salad”, according to the restaurant.

Research – Death by duck paste: Centenary of the Loch Maree botulism tragedy

Press and Journal

kswfoodworld

There were 13 fishermen, two wives, 17 ghillies and three mountain climbers in the party, and they set out that morning with packed lunches prepared by the hotel staff.

The picnic included duck paste sandwiches, the paste coming from the firm of Lazenby & Sons of London.

Little did the diners know that they were carrying a ticking time bomb between slices of bread in their hampers, and that eight of their number would be dead within days.

Read the story at the Link Above

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.

Argentina – Botulism behind at least two deaths; others sick in Argentina

Food Safety News

kswfoodworld

Foodborne botulism has been linked to two deaths in an Argentinian province.

The Ministry of Public Health in Misiones reported the two fatalities and at least four other cases occurred this past week in the village of Andresito.

The four ill people, including three adults and one child, are being treated in the intensive care unit of a local hospital. According to media reports, a third person, a child, has since died and up to 10 people have been affected.

Agency officials said that products suspected to be linked to the food poisoning have been seized. Local media reported homemade sausages are believed to be the source of infection.

Botulism antitoxin has been brought from Buenos Aires and Corrientes to reinforce local stock.

Officials reminded people about how food that is not approved by the relevant authorities should not be consumed.

Canada – Moncton Fish Market brand “La” Stimpson’s Surf Clams recalled due to potential presence of Clostridium botulinum

CFIA

Summary

Product
“La” Stimpson’s Surf Clams
Issue
Food » Microbial Contamination » Clostridium botulinum
What to do

Do not consume the recalled product

Moncton Fish Market brand "La" Stimpson's Surf Clams – 153 grams

Moncton Fish Market brand "La" Stimpson's Surf Clams – 153 grams – ingredients

Issue

Moncton Fish Market Ltd. is recalling Moncton Fish Market brand “La” Stimpson’s Surf Clams that have been sold unrefrigerated from the marketplace because the product may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum.

The recalled product has been sold at Moncton Fish Market, Moncton, New Brunswick.

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 product in your home
  • Do not consume the recalled product
  • Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location 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.

Canada – Moncton Fish Market brand Bar Clams recalled due to potential presence of dangerous bacteria – Clostridium botulinum

CFIA

Moncton Fish Market - Bar Clams: 153 g

Moncton Fish Market - Bar Clams: 153 g

Product
Bar Clams
Issue
Food » Microbial Contamination » Clostridium botulinum
What to do

Do not consume the recalled product

Affected products

Brand Product Size UPC Codes
Moncton Fish Market Bar Clams 153 g 8 78173 00004 8 All jars that were sold unrefrigerated

Issue

Moncton Fish Market Ltd. is recalling Moncton Fish Market brand Bar Clams that have been sold unrefrigerated from the marketplace because the product may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum.

The recalled product has been sold at Moncton Fish Market, Moncton, New Brunswick.

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 product in your home
  • Do not consume the recalled product
  • Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location 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.