A brand of flour has been recalled in France after dozens of people fell sick.

French officials said there was a risk of JP Coteau brand buckwheat flour being contaminated with Datura.

Additional cases recorded by the Brittany Regional Health Agency (ARS) and checks by the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations in Ille-et-Vilaine, with the involved producer, led to the initial alert being expanded.

French media quoted the Brittany Regional Health Agency reporting that 49 people were sick, including five children. Five people needed hospital treatment.

Products removed from sale

Affected products were sold at outlets specializing in organic products, in grocery stores, at local markets or directly from the producer, mainly in the west of France from Oct. 7, 2023 forward. Recall and withdrawal measures have now been taken.

All batches of JP Cloteau brand buckwheat flour 1-kilogram, 2.5-kilogram, 5-kilogram or 25-kilogram with best before dates between October 2024 and March 2025 are affected.

Officials urged people with any of the implicated products not to consume them and to return items to the point of sale for destruction.

Datura is a plant found in fields and naturally contains high levels of tropane alkaloids, such as atropine and scopolamine. It can contaminate crops and cause acute poisoning.

Symptoms may include a dry mouth, dilated pupils, impaired vision, confusion, hallucinations, a faster heart rate, incoherent speech, and balance problems. They occur relatively quickly after ingestion, from minutes to hours, and may continue for 24 to 48 hours.

For cereals and cereals products, good agricultural and harvesting practices minimize contamination of the crop by seeds of species containing tropane alkaloids, such as Datura stramonium. Such seeds can be removed for certain cereals by sorting and cleaning. However, they cannot easily be removed from sorghum, millet, maize, and buckwheat.

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