Bump in foodborne botulism in Colorado

The pandemic brought a rise in home canning and food preservation as evidenced by a scarcity of canning supplies on store shelves and from online retailers, perhaps driven by a bountiful harvest by those who planted home gardens in the spring during the early lockdown period.

The Journal Advocate reports improperly canned food is behind at least some of the several cases of confirmed and suspected foodborne botulism that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has investigated in the state since September, according to a release from CDPHE Wednesday. Testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed four of the cases, one is still under investigation, and two test results are pending. All of the confirmed cases occurred along the Front Range, and one of the unconfirmed cases occurred in the Western Slope.

A majority of the cases appear to be unrelated as no common food item was identified. The last two confirmed cases were the result of an improperly canned shared food made in the same household, prompting a warning from CDPHE about home food safety.

 “Botulism does not spread from person to person, so there is no risk to the public. However, these cases are a good reminder of how important it is to properly preserve and handle food in the home,” said Nicole Comstock, deputy branch chief, communicable disease branch.

Tajikistan concerned over increasing number of botulism cases

Asia Plus reports that Tajik Deputy Prime Minister, Azim Ibrohim, who also heads the Council for Food Safety Issues, has expressed concern about increasing number of botulism cases in Tajikistan.

c.bot.cannd.vegetalesThe Council for Food Safety Issues reportedly held a meeting here yesterday.

Speaking at the meeting, Ibrohim demanded that heads of good safety management bodies give reports on implementation of the plan of work for the first half-year of 2016.

It was noted that the number of botulism cases has increased in the country and that the home-canned vegetables are the most common cause of botulism.

Ibrohim ordered the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and other relevant bodies to prepare the guide to home canning.

Ibrohim reportedly drew attention of meeting participants to slow introduction of the ISO 22000 standard.