FDA Consumer Warning
Written by Faith Anderson on September 12, 2011
Life-Threatening Botulism Bacteria
Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which can enter the body through wounds or may live in improperly canned or preserved food. Common symptoms of botulism include:
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Slurred speech
- Drooping eyelids
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness
Botulism can result in death due to respiratory failure. Infants with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated, and have a weak cry and poor muscle tone, all of which are symptoms of the muscle paralysis caused by the bacterial toxin. If left untreated, botulism symptoms can progress and cause paralysis of the respiratory muscles, legs, arms and trunk. In foodborne botulism such as in this case, symptoms generally show up 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but can present as early as six hours or as late as ten days.
FDA Recommendation for Consumers
Due to the treat of botulism, French authorities have ordered production halted at the La Ruche facility in France, and have directed that all products sold under the affected brand names be recalled. Products of these brands are considered a severe threat to public health and should not be eaten by consumers. If consumers have purchased any of these products, either online or while traveling in France, the FDA recommends that they be disposed of. Consumers who have recently eaten any of these products and have exhibited symptoms of botulism should consult their healthcare provider immediately.