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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

No Lettuce, Spinach or Carrots?

Update from CBC News: Toxic carrot juice paralyzes 2 in Toronto. My guess is that soon Mexico and Canada will ban the sale of everything from the United States.

From the article:

  • Two Toronto residents are paralyzed after drinking carrot juice that tested positive for a botulism toxin, according to the city’s public health department.
  • The juice, produced by Bolthouse Farms in Bakersfield, Calif., was ordered off North American store shelves late last month after four cases of botulism in the United States were linked to toxic carrot juice.
  • A Florida woman has been in hospital, unresponsive, since mid-September.
  • Three people in Georgia suffered respiratory failure and are on ventilators since drinking carrot juice a month ago.

FDA Warns Consumers Not To Drink Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice Due to Botulism Concerns

In response to a fourth case of botulism being linked to Bolthouse Farms, Bakersfield, California brand carrot juice, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to drink Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice, 450 ml and 1 liter plastic bottles, with “BEST IF USED BY” dates of NOV 11 2006 or earlier. Consumers should discard this product. FDA is also reiterating its advice to consumers to keep carrot juice — including pasteurized carrot juice — refrigerated.

The fourth case of botulism poisoning involves an adult female in Florida who is currently suffering from paralysis. To date, one link between the illness and the consumers appears to be that the juice they drank was not properly refrigerated once it was in the home, which allowed the Clostridium botulinum spores to grow and produce toxin. FDA is investigating other possible links.

Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium commonly found in soil. Under certain conditions these bacteria can produce a toxin that if ingested can result in botulism, a disease that may cause paralysis or death. Cases of botulism from processed food are extremely rare in the U.S.

Symptoms of botulism can include: double-vision, droopy eyelids, altered voice, trouble with speaking or swallowing, and paralysis on both sides of the body that progresses from the neck down, possibly followed by difficulty in breathing. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.