Update - Ontarians Warned Not To Eat Food Products Contaminated With Botulism
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, is warning Ontarians not to consume the salted and cured fish products (fesikh) described below because they may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum. Toxins produced by this bacterium may cause botulism, a life-threatening illness.
The affected products - whole fesikh mullet, cut up fesikh mullet in oil and whole fesikh shad - were sold from Lotus Catering and Fine Food, 1960 Lawrence Avenue East in Toronto, on or before April 17, 2012.
There have been three reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.
Food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum toxin may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with the toxin may cause nausea and/or vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, headache, double vision, dry throat, respiratory failure and paralysis. Death can occur in severe cases.
Anyone who has consumed these products and experiences any of the symptoms described above should see a health care provider and notify their local public health unit.
- Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
- In food borne botulism, symptoms generally begin 12 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as early as six hours or as late as 10 days.
- When diagnosed early, botulism can be treated with a botulism antitoxin. The antitoxin can prevent a patient's condition from becoming worse, and reduces the chances of complications.
- In Ontario, there are approximately three confirmed cases of botulism reported each year, on average.
“I strongly advise the public to make sure they avoid consuming these products. If you have consumed these products and experience any symptoms of illness, you should seek medical attention immediately.”
Dr. Arlene King