French botulism alert raised in US, Cargill recalls more ground turkey

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Clostridium botulinum

The international alert over botulism-contaminated food from France spread to the US over the weekend as federal authorities warned consumers not to eat tapenade made by the company La Ruche.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issued a recall notice from meat giant Cargill for a further 185,000 pounds (84,000 kg) of ground turkey over fears of Salmonella-tainted turkey.

Last month the company issued a nationwide recall of 36m pounds (16.36m kg) of turkey meat because of concerns it was contaminated with the bacteria.

Botulism tapenade

Food safety officials Saturday issued an alert over the spreadable tomato paste made by La Ruche after similar warnings had been posted in both France and the UK.

The firm’s brands ‘Les délices de Marie-Claire’,’Terre de Mistral’ and ‘Les Secrets d’Anaïs’, have all tested positive for botulism.

Eight adults are currently suffering from respiratory failure as a result of eating foods containing the neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, said the FDA.

The body said the products were a “severe threat to human health”​ and should be disposed of immediately. Anyone who consumed the products should seek immediate medical help.

But officials said there was no indication that any of these products had entered the US.

Botulism can be fatal due to respiratory failure. Classic symptoms include impaired vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness.

Cargill Salmonella

Cargill raised the alarm after a further ground turkey sample tested positive for Salmonella Heidberg in the wake of the post-recall review from the previous incident on 3 August.

Production of ground turkey has again been suspended at the site but no other turkey products either at the same plant, nor at Cargill’s other three US turkey processing facilities, have been affected.

Listeria outbreak

US state authorities also confirmed that tainted cantaloupe melons could be responsible for a listeria outbreak that has killed at least one person in Colorado and spread into two other states.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said that all of the nine confirmed cases of the gastrointestinal infection in Colorado, two suspected cases in Texas and one in Nebraska, had eaten the melon.

Officials said they haven't yet traced where the tainted melons were sold.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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