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Six affected in foodborne botulism outbreak in Denmark

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

Related tags: Botulism, Clostridium botulinum, Foodborne outbreaks, Denmark

Denmark is investigating an outbreak of foodborne botulism with six confirmed cases.

Fødevarestyrelsen (Danish Food and Veterinary Administration) has taken food samples with results expected shortly in an attempt to determine the source.

There are six confirmed and one possible case out of 11 people that attended a private party in Sønderborg on Friday last week. All were admitted to hospital for observation.

At the moment, however, we can say that we have no information indicating that we have unsafe food on the market,” ​the agency told FoodNavigator.

“Manufactured foods are very safe regarding botulism with controlled pH and salt content in the production. It is very rare that there is cases of botulism poisoning in Denmark with one or two cases per year.”

The Statens Serum Institut (SSI) received samples from patients and confirmed botulism via PCR and a mouse test.

Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium that produces botulinum toxins under low-oxygen conditions. These toxins block nerve functions and can lead to respiratory and muscular paralysis.

Symptoms are caused by the toxin produced by the bacterium. They usually appear within 12 to 36 hours (within a minimum and maximum range of four hours to eight days) after exposure.

Foodborne botulism is caused by consumption of improperly processed food and homemade canned, preserved or fermented foodstuffs are a common source.

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