Food Standards Australia and New Zealand says Orgazmo Smoked Foods has recalled Wood Smoked Sicilian Olives from Farmers Markets in NSW due to potential microbial contamination.
Food products contaminated with microbial pathogens may cause illness if consumed. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice. The products can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.
No idea what pathogen, no idea how it was discovered, no idea if anyone is sick, but if you’re buying olives of the Orgazmo brand, just sayin.
National Public Radio in the U.S. – or as Colbert calls their programming, state-sponsored jazz – ran a story entitled, Organic isn’t always safer when it comes to botulism.
When is organic ever safer? It’s a production standard.
The story about Organic Italian olives is a timely reminder that if Clostridium botulinim, the bacteria that causes botulism, makes it as far as a jar packed with oil and not much oxygen, it can flourish.
"It’s the perfect environment for botulinum to grow," says Eric Johnson, a professor of microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Johnson said the case reminded him of an outbreak in the 1980s, which was caused by chopped garlic packed in oil. "Garlic is from the soil, so it has spores of botulinum in it.” The oil floats on top of the jar and seals out air, leaving water to collect at the bottom, where it acts like a Petri dish for botulism.
After the outbreak in chopped garlic, the FDA told garlic processors add phosphoric acid. The higher acid level thwarts bacterial growth. Another strategy used by big commercial processors is a "bot cook," which involves cooking foods at high temperatures under pressure to wipe out spores.
An elderly woman has died as a result of botulism poisoning, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, after eating some Italian olives that contained the toxin.
According to the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District, she succumbed to the illness on Thursday.
Another adult member of the same family remains in hospital.
Prior to their illness, both had eaten from a jar of stuffed organic olives, which was subsequently discovered to contain the toxin, as reported by THL, the National Institute for Health and Welfare.
The olives in question were manufactured and packaged in Italy, and the jar contains the Finnish wording "Gaudiano Bio oliivi mantelitäytteellä" (Gaudiano Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds).
The best-before dates on the product are 08/2012 or 09/2012 and the batch numbers H2510X or L1810X.