Four people are part of a foodborne botulism outbreak in Spain after eating DIA brand tuna.

A batch of canned tuna in sunflower oil of the brand DIA has been removed from sale. The Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) said those who became ill ate a homemade salad that included the tuna. Spanish media reported one of the patients was still in hospital.

The foodborne outbreak was suspected to be caused by the tuna or grated carrots from Spain with distribution including Andorra, according to a Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) notice.

AESAN became aware on Aug. 9, through the Spanish rapid information exchange system (SCIRI), of a notification from health authorities in Castilla y León of a food poisoning outbreak caused by botulinum toxin linked to consumption of canned tuna in a homemade “Russian” salad.

Products have been analyzed and the presence of botulinum toxin was confirmed in late August in the consumed can of tuna.

Made for DIA stores by Frinsa
Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentación (DIA) is a Spanish multinational company specializing in distribution of food, household and personal care products. The company has more than 6,000 stores in Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Argentina.

Tuna was distributed through DIA platforms to the communities of Asturias, Castilla y León, Cataluña, Aragón, La Rioja, Murcia, Navarra, Castilla – La Mancha and Valencia.

Canned tuna in sunflower oil 900-gram with lot code 19/154 023 02587 and expiration date of December 2022 made by Frinsa del Noroeste S.A. is affected.

This batch of tuna manufactured by Frinsa was removed from all stores on Aug. 10 by DIA, according to a company statement. The firm asked any customers who had the item to return it to their nearest store.

Botulism is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by toxins produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. However, they can start as soon as six hours after or up to 10 days later.

Botulism can cause symptoms including general weakness, dizziness, double vision, and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also occur. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms result from muscle paralysis caused by the toxin.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)