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California Warns of Botulism Risk in Jarred Soups

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) director Dr. Ron Chapman warned consumers on Thursday not to eat Taste of Roux, LLC jarred vegetarian soups because they may have been improperly produced, making them susceptible to contamination with Clostridium Botulinum.

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No illnesses have been linked to any of the affected products at this time.

Ingestion of botulism toxin from improperly processed jarred and canned foods may lead to serious illness and death. 

Taste of Roux, LLC of Valley Village, California is recalling its Lentil, Black Bean, Tomato, Carrot Ginger, Vegetarian Chili, and Detox jarred soups.  The soups were sold under the Taste of Roux label and packaged in quart and pint glass jars with screw-on metal lids.  The product labels do not include any coding or use-by dates.

The recalled soups were sold only at:

– Malibu Farmers Market, 23555 Civic Center Way, Malibu, CA 90265, Sundays, beginning on November 20, 2011

– Autry Farmers Market, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027, Saturdays, beginning on May 5, 2012. 

Photographs of the recalled soups can be found here.

 

Consumers who have these recalled soups should discard them in the trash, California public health officials advise. Botulism toxin is odorless and colorless; cooking the soup will not inactivate any toxin that is present. 

Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The initial symptoms frequently experienced are double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, and dry or sore throat. Progressive descending paralysis, usually symmetrical, may follow.

Additional symptoms may include slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, inability of the neck muscles to support the head; paralysis of the extremities and respiratory muscles may occur. Infants with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated, have a weak cry, and poor muscle tone.

Consumers with any of these symptoms should contact their health care provider.

© Food Safety News
  • Given the look of the labels and the fact the products were sold in farmers markets, I suspect these may have been produced in some home kitchen. All low acid food in California must be produced in state inspected facilities.

  • husna aijaz

    Farmers market across the nation sell foods in jars without meeting proper state labeling requirements. Labels like the one shown are common in so many places across the country.
    Stricter guidelines for food sold outside the retail supermarket needs to be enforced to protect the health of consumers.
    Botulinum toxin is a spore-forming neurotoxin (highly toxic) that can grow and multiply in food containers that are airtight. It can be also be found in sous vide and low acid foods containing meat, poultry and seafood.
    How would one know if they have been affected by this toxin? With an education background in food science and training in food laws/regulations, I feel confident enough to comment on identifying the pathogens of public health concern.
    Watch out for symptoms like double vision, difficulty swallowing accompanied by nausea, vomitting and paralysis of muscles within 1-10 days after consumption of contaminated food. Don’t prolong seeking medical treatment immediately or it may lead to death. The treatment of choice may involve being treated with specific antisera.
    This toxin can affect infants as well from the consumption of bottled infant foods. C.botulinum spores are found in honey and corn syrup and it is for this very reason pediatricians advise parents not to give honey to infants under 1. Infants usually end up with temporary paralysis.
    Home prepared and canned foods that have not undergone adequate heat treatments can result in this outbreak. My advise: please refrain from the practice of feeding food from unknown sources to children/adults in a large group setting. Do not buy bottled food products at fairs, farmer’s market and health food stores that are not properly regulated.