FDA NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release: September 10, 2011
Consumer Inquiries: 1-888-INFO-FDA
FDA warns consumers of botulism risk in La Ruche tapenade, spreadable tomato paste
Severe botulism cases reported in France linked to these products
The FDA is warning consumers not to eat tapenade or spreadable dried tomato paste manufactured by the French food company La Ruche. French health authorities have reported an outbreak of botulism in France linked to the company’s products sold under the brand names “Les délices de Marie-Claire,” “Terre de Mistral” and Les Secrets d’Anaïs.” Eight adults are currently suffering from respiratory failure as a result of eating foods containing the neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum.
French authorities have ordered production halted at the company’s facility in France and have directed that all products sold under those brand names be recalled.
Products of the brands noted above are considered a severe threat to public health and should not be eaten. If consumers purchased any of these products, either while traveling in France or online, throw them away. If consumers have recently eaten any of these products and have symptoms of botulism, see your healthcare provider immediately.
At this time, the FDA has no indication that any of these products has been imported into the U.S. The FDA also has no information that this outbreak has affected anyone in the U.S. FDA has increased its monitoring of shipments from this area of the world and has issued a bulletin to its Field Offices today to be vigilant in this area.
Botulism can result in death due to respiratory failure.The classic symptoms of botulism include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. Infants with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated, and have a weak cry and poor muscle tone. These are all symptoms of the muscle paralysis caused by the bacterial toxin. If untreated, these symptoms may progress to cause paralysis of the respiratory muscles, arms, legs, and trunk. In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as early as 6 hours or as late as 10 days.
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FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The Agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
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