Beef linked to four botulism cases in Sweden

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Smoked beef is being investigated as the possible cause of botulim cases. Picture: iStock/dsfrantz
Smoked beef is being investigated as the possible cause of botulim cases. Picture: iStock/dsfrantz

Related tags: Botulism, Bacteria, Clostridium botulinum

Swedish authorities are investigating four cases of botulism possibly from smoked beef.

Livsmedelsverket (The National Food Administration) said the cases from Göteborg were hospitalised but have since been discharged and recovered.

The source of infection is unclear but could be a batch of smoked beef and Eldsberga Chark has issued a recall.

Göteborgs Miljöförvaltning (environment department) said the affected people come from the same household.

Livsmedelsverket said it will follow up the recall action with an inspection at the company.

Eldsberga Chark recall

Less than 20 cases of botulism have been reported in Sweden in almost 50 years.

Eldsberga Chark said as infection might be from ‘Suha bosanska peka’ smoked beef it has recalled products with article number 4071.

The company added it was investigating with authorities​.

Product was sold via Orienthus in Göteborg from 7-11-17 to 20-11-17 and by Mousas orient livs with batch number 9043458.

It was used to make sandwiches sold at Baguetteria Nq 1 during the same dates.

The rest of the product (270kg) was exported and sold to consumers via Balkanshopen in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Eldsberga Chark said items purchased in the above time period can be returned to place of purchase and customers will be compensated.

About botulism

Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium that produces botulinum toxins under low-oxygen conditions. Symptoms are caused by the toxin produced by the bacterium, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Foodborne botulism, caused by consumption of improperly processed food, is rare but potentially fatal if not diagnosed rapidly and treated with antitoxin. Homemade canned, preserved or fermented foodstuffs are a common source.

Symptoms usually appear within 12 to 36 hours (within a range of four hours to eight days).

C. botulinum will not grow in acidic conditions (pH less than 4.6). Spores of C. botulinum are heat-resistant but the toxin produced by bacteria growing out of the spores under anaerobic conditions is destroyed by boiling (internal temperature greater than 85 °C for five minutes or longer).

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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