Home canned vegetables linked to botulism

A couple of years ago I ran into a barfblog reader who commented to me, ‘You’re really scared of botulism, aren’t you?’ This wasn’t a random question, it was related to a few things I had posted following over 20 illnesses linked to a potluck dinner at Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster, Ohio.

Scared isn’t how I would describe it. Rattled and in awe of are probably better terms. The toxin blocks motor nerve terminals at the myoneural junction, causing paralysis. It starts with the mouth, eyes, face and moves down through the body. It often results in paralysis of the chest muscles and diaphragm, making a ventilator necessary. Months of recovery follow an intoxication.

Maybe I am scared.

There isn’t a whole lot of botulism in the U.S. every year, and not all of it is foodborne – (infant botulism is more common); over the past two decades, improperly home preserved foods are the main source.

According to Punch, fourteen people, including four children, were hospitalised after a mass botulism food poisoning outbreak in southern Kyrgyzstan.

An epidemiological investigation has been conducted and all patients have received the anti-botulinum serum.

The first case of food poisoning in the city of Uzgen in the Osh region was reported on March 11.

According to preliminary data, the poisoning occurred due to eating homemade canned vegetable salad.

A month earlier, 17 people in southern Kyrgyzstan were hospitalised for the same reason.

1 dead, 3 sick from botulism in Armenia

A foodborne botulism case has been registered in the capital city.

peppers-armenia-botAs a result of food poisoning 4 victims have been hospitalized, one of which died. The cause for food intoxication was the use of homemade canned peppers. The family members had eaten the canned peppers on October 26th. 24 hours after the intake, one of the family members felt typical symptoms of botulism, while for the rest of the family the symptoms emerged on the 3rd day. The first victim was taken to Armenia Republican Medical Center, where he died yesterday. The other members of the family are still receiving treatment. 

Where frozen and canned vegetables come from: 2001

Another blast from the past, with iFSN’s Andrew Reece editing together some old video on food safety in the Ontario processing vegetable industry. Newbie student Ben Chapman worked the camera and provided some narration, as we toured farms and processing facilities in Ontario.

Posers like Gordon Ramsey can gas on all they like about the political food flavor of the day, producers and processors supply the bulk of food ingredients that are a cornerstone of a healthy and abundant diet.