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Food Safety News

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Hazardous Olives May Have Been Repackaged

Almond-stuffed olives imported from Italy and linked to two botulism illnesses in Finland, including one fatality, may have been repackaged and resold in the U.S. in containers that do not carry the Bio Gaudiano label, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported Friday.

In a news release, the FDA updated information provided earlier this week on the recall of the olives in the United States. The olives have also been recalled in Europe, where health authorities have said samples tested positive for botulinum toxin, which causes botulism.

There are no reported cases of illnesses linked to the olives in the U.S.

The Bio Gaudiano brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds were distributed by Pure Italian LLC in the United States, initially only to Massachusetts retailers, the FDA said.

Labeled, 314 ml glass jars may have been sold at the SoWA farmers market in South End, MA, but several stores may have repackaged and resold the olives in containers that do not have the brand-name label. Those stores are Foodies Fresh Market in Boston, Russo’s in Watertown, and Fresh Choice Supermarket in Framingham, according to the FDA.

Consumers should talk with their retailer before purchasing or eating almond-stuffed olives, the agency advised. If consumers question whether almond-stuffed olives may be suspect, they should not eat them, and should place them in a sealed container in the trash so that people and animals, including wild animals, cannot eat them.

The recall of the olives involves all batches and all sizes of Bio Gaudiano brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Olives, including those in glass jars and metal cans.

Consumers should discard, destroy or return the olives to the place of purchase, the FDA said. For more information contact Pure Italian LLC at 617-372-1659 or 617-331-2062 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

© Food Safety News
  • I must admit that this contamination had me a little confused. It seemed to me that the acidity of the olives would discourage any bacterial growth. Peter Cocotas explained to me that the almond stuffing raised the pH to level acceptable to bacterial growth.