Category Archives: Clostridium botulinum

Italy – Botulism suspected as 35 sick in Italy

Food Safety News


More than 30 people have needed hospital treatment in Italy for suspected botulism intoxication.

The 35 patients seen at the emergency department of the Giglio Foundation hospital in Cefalù, a city in northern Sicily, had the same meal in a canteen.

Currently, 24 patients are being looked after in three Sicilian hospitals with seven in intensive care and four under observation in an emergency room. Admissions started on Wednesday this past week.

Suspicion falls on food for construction workers
Those sick are workers from Toto Costruzioni Generali and initial investigations point toward a shared meal of salad containing tuna, tomato and mozzarella.

UK -FSA launches consultation into shelf-life guidance for vacuum and modified atmosphere packed chilled beef, lamb and pork



The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has today launched a formal six-week consultation with key stakeholders to inform a review of the guidance on the safety and shelf-life of vacuum and modified atmosphere packed (VP/MAP) chilled beef, lamb and pork.

Currently, the FSA guidance (Opens in a new window)advises that the maximum shelf-life of VP/MAP chilled beef, lamb and pork should be 10 days , unless suitable controls are in place to appropriately reduce associated risks.

This summer the FSA, industry and other partners signed up to a joint statement, committing to working together to review the existing guidance and consider possible changes.

For more information about the consultation and to take part, visit the FSA consultation webpage.  The consultation will close on 11 November 2020.

Russia – Six botulism deaths in Volgograd in first half of 2020

Outbreak News Today

Officials in the Volgograd region in Southern Russia have reported 60 botulism cases in the first half of 2020.

Of the sixty cases, six fatalities were reported.

About 200 people suffer from this severe disease affecting the central nervous system in the region every year. Now the inhabitants of the region are actively engaged in the preparation of homemade canned food for the winter.

This has prompted the Office of Rospotrebnadzor in the Volgograd region to put some restrictions.

Experts advise against buying pickles on the street and homemade smoked meats. Housewives should not reduce the amount of salt and vinegar or shorten cooking time during home preservation.

Canada – Érablière Godbout brand “Sauce spaghetti” recalled due to potential presence of dangerous bacteria – Clostridium botulinum


Recall details

Ottawa, September 27, 2020 – Érablière Godbout is recalling Érablière Godbout brand “Sauce spaghetti” from the marketplace because it may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

Recalled product

Brand Product Size UPC Codes
Érablière Godbout Sauce spaghetti 500 mL None All units where the label does not mention “Keep Refrigerated”
Érablière Godbout Sauce spaghetti 1 L None All units where the label does not mention “Keep Refrigerated”

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 or 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 Canadian Food Inspection Agency (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

  • Érablière Godbout – "Sauce spaghetti" (label)
  • Érablière Godbout – "Sauce spaghetti" (ingredients)

Vietnam – Lethal bacteria in vegan pate puts seven people on life support – Clostridium botulinum

VN Express


Foodborne botulism caused by Minh Chay vegan pate has put seven people on ventilators, including one paralyzed and entirely dependent on the machine.

The ICU and Poison Control Department at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City is treating two middle-aged sisters from Long An Province who fell seriously sick after eating Minh Chay pate, said hospital director Nguyen Van Vinh Chau.

Minh Chay pate is produced by Loi Song Moi Company in Hanoi’s Dong Anh District.

The duo from southern Vietnam was admitted with difficulties in swallowing and opening their mouth. Their condition worsened quickly, causing paralysis in their body and respiratory muscles. They had to be put on ventilators. After two weeks of treatment, the younger sister can move her arms and legs and her reliance on the ventilator has reduced.

“The older one’s situation is more serious; she is awake but only can move the tips of her fingers, toes and lip

Ukraine – Ukraine reports 40 botulism cases in first half of 2020

112 UA

cdc clost spore

Image CDC

The Ukraine Ministry of Health has reported 40 cases of botulism since January, including two fatalities.

Since the beginning of 2020, 40 cases of infection with botulism observed in Ukraine; two cases were lethal. Besides, nine and 13-year-old children were among the diseased, as the Public Health Center reported on Facebook.

“The consumption of the home-made preserves, air-dried, smoked, salted fish and other food products purchased in the unauthorized trading may lead to the infection with botulism,” the center reported.

A 59-year-old man died from botulism in Ukraine. On the eve, a man ate homemade canned pork. It was severe acute disease and the state of the patient deteriorated after serum infusion and three surgeries. A man died on December 30, 2019.


Belgium – Recall STONEMANOR INTERNATIONAL LTD Products: Cheese spreads “CHEESE TUBES” – many tastes – from Primula brand. Problem: possible contamination by Clostridium botulinum


Following a notification via the RASFF system (rapid alert system for food and feed), the presence of Clostridium botulinum has been demonstrated in Primula brand Cheese tubes, several flavors.

STONEMANOR INTERNATIONAL has decided, in consultation with the AFSCA, to withdraw these products from sale and to recall them from consumers.

Product description
– Name of products: PRIMULA CHEESE TUBES
– All tastes are affected
– Brand: PRIMULA
– Expiration dates: ALL DATES
– Lot numbers: ALL BATCH NUMBERS
– Weight: 150g

The product was sold via Stonemanor (Steenhofstraat 28 – 3078 Everberg)

Information for consumers

The company STONEMANOR INTERNATIONAL LTD asks its customers not to consume these products and to return them to the point of sale, where they will be reimbursed.

Poisoning caused by Clostridium botulinum toxins can cause double vision, thirst, constipation, dizziness, difficulty swallowing and speaking, breathing disorder, paralysis, death and this within 12 to 48 hours and even up to ” 8 days after ingestion of the contaminated food.

If you have used any of these products and you have the symptoms mentioned above, please consult your doctor and report the consumption of this product.

For more information, please contact Stonemanor on 02 759 49 79 or via


Hong Kong -CFS urges public not to consume two kinds of prepackaged cheese spread that may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum


The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (June 19) urged the public not to consume two kinds of prepackaged cheese spread imported from the United Kingdom (UK) due to possible contamination with Clostridium botulinum. The trade should also stop using or selling the products concerned immediately if they possess them.

Product details are as follows:

Product name: Original Cheese Spread
Brand: Primula
Place of origin: UK
Importer: CitySuper
Packing size: 150 grams per tube
Best-before dates: December 29, 2020; January 7, 2021; January 12, 2021; and January 14, 2021

Product name: Cheese Spread with Chives
Brand: Primula
Place of origin: UK
Importer: CitySuper
Packing size: 150g per tube
Best-before dates: December 29, 2020; January 5, 2021; January 12, 2021; and January 19, 2021

A CFS spokesman said, “The CFS, through its Food Incident Surveillance System, noted notices issued by the UK Food Standards Agency that the manufacturer of the products is recalling the above-mentioned batches of the products which may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum due to a production fault.”

Upon learning of the incident, the CFS immediately followed up with major local importers and retailers. Preliminary investigation found that the above-mentioned importer had imported the above batches of the products which were sold in its retail outlets. Upon notification by the UK manufacturer earlier, the importer concerned had already stopped sale, removed from shelves the affected products and initiated a recall. Members of the public may call the importer’s hotline at 2736 3866 during office hours for enquiries about the recall.

“Foodborne botulism is caused by ingestion of food containing very potent neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Symptoms of intoxication include marked fatigue, weakness and vertigo, often followed by blurred vision and difficulty in speaking and swallowing. The toxin may paralyse the breathing muscles and cause death. Onset of symptoms is usually around 18 to 36 hours after the ingestion of the toxin, but may range from four hours to eight days,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman urged consumers not to consume the affected batches of the products if they have bought any. The trade should also stop using or selling the products concerned immediately if they possess them.

The CFS will alert the trade to the incident, continue to follow up and take appropriate action. Investigation is ongoing.

Ends/Friday, June 19, 2020


RASFF Alert – Clostridium botulinum – Cheese Spreads


RASFF – Clostridium botulinum in cheese spreads from the United Kingdom in the UK

Singapore – Recall of various flavours of “Primula’s Cheese Spread” due to contamination of Clostridium botulinum


The United Kingdom Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a food recall
alert on various flavours of Primula’s Cheese Spread from the United Kingdom due to
contamination with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium.
2 Under the Singapore Food Regulations, no food sold for consumption shall be
contaminated with any pathogenic microorganisms such as Clostridium botulinum. As
the implicated products were imported into Singapore, the Singapore Food Agency
has directed the importer, Atasco Pte Ltd, to recall the products. The recall is ongoing.
3 Clostridium botulinum produces lethal neurotoxins1
that can lead to an illness
called botulism. Botulism is typically associated with improper cooking and processing
which do not completely eliminate the bacteria and its toxins from the food.
4 Consumers who have purchased the affected products should not consume it.
Those who feel unwell may wish to seek medical attention, and may contact the
importer at 9766 9860 for enquiries and for exchange or refund of products.