Pesto Sauces Recalled for Botulism Contamination
Health officials with the states of California and Ohio, as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to consumers to avoid a number of food items from San Clemente, California-based VR Green Farms, because those items may have been contaminated with botulism. The botulism fears resulted in the company issuing a voluntary recall last week.
On Wednesday, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) officially warned consumers of the possible contamination, after determining a link between two cases of botulism infection and the company’s pine nut basil pesto. According to the Cincinnati Health Department’s Center for Public Health Preparedness, two of that city’s residents, both in their 20s, were diagnosed and hospitalized with cases of botulism after the nationwide recall was announced. Both patients had been placed on ventilators as a result. One had been taken off the ventilator and was improving, while the other was transferred to an acute long-term care facility.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), botulism is very rare, with only 145 cases reported in a given year, but it botulism toxin leads to very serious illness and even death. The botulism toxin is odorless and tasteless. Initial symptoms of botulism toxin include droopy eyelids, blurred or double vision or a dry and sore throat, but later on, those affected can end up paralyzed or even dead.
Only about 15 percent of botulism cases are foodborne. In most cases, the contamination is caused by improperly processing canned or jarred foods. The VR Green Farms products subject to the recall include their Pine Nut Basil Pesto, Sundried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, Pickled Farm Mix, Old World Tomato Sauce, Tuscan Grilling Sauce and Pasta Sauce. There are no “use by” dates or UPC codes.
All of these products are packed in glass mason-style jars, and are sold at farm stands near San Clemente, but they are also sold on the Internet, so it is possible that some people in Texas may have them in their pantry. According to CDPH officials, the products may have been “improperly produced.”
The company has removed the products from their website, but health officials are asking that consumers who have purchased them dispose of them immediately. When handling the products, consumers should wear gloves, and they should be thrown out in double-bagged trash receptacles. After throwing the products out, they should also wash their hands thoroughly with soap and running water.
If you suspect that you or a loved one have had contact with the products, you should call your local or state health officials and see a health professional immediately. If you or a loved one becomes sick or has died as a result of consuming any sort of contaminated food product, please contact the experienced and knowledgeable Food Poisoning Lawyer at Hill Law Firm, so we can investigate and protect your rights under the law.