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Costa del Sol registers second case of botulism in Andalucía associated with pre-packed potato omelettes
Food safety

Costa del Sol registers second case of botulism in Andalucía associated with pre-packed potato omelettes

The manufacturing company has voluntarily recalled the product from supermaket shelves of Auchan, Eroski, Consum, DIA, Condis, El Corte Ingles and Carrefour across Spain as investigations continue

Europa Press

Malaga

Monday, 24 July 2023, 11:15

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The Health department of Junta de Andalucía is studying a case with a clinical situation compatible with the outbreak of bolutism associated with pre-packaged potato omelettes sold in different supermarket chains across, the second one registered in Andalusia.

Sources from the Ministry have confirmed to Europa Press that the suspected case - currently unconfirmed - is a 66-year-old resident of Benalmádena, who presented symptoms on 14 July, without requiring hospital admission. The samples have been sent to the National Microbiology Centre for study and evaluation.

This study of this case is in addition to that of a 27-year-old resident of Malaga , who presented mild symptoms at the beginning of July. That patient not require hospitalisation.

The Junta has highlighted the «fundamental» work of the health surveillance and reporting network in the early detection of possible cases.

Botulism is a serious but relatively rare disease caused by toxins produced by clostridium botulinum. There are three clinical forms of botulism: classicl or food-borne botulism, intestinal botulism and wound botulism. All result in flaccid paralysis due to the action of botulinum neurotoxin at the neuromuscular junction.

Five confirmed cases

By the end of last week, the Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency (Aesan) reported seven cases with a history of consumption of packaged potato omelette in the days prior to the onset of the clinic, five of them laboratory-confirmed with symptom onset dates between 24 June and 10 July.

The cases were reported in several regions across Spain and the public health services of the regional governments were informed through the Alerts and Preparedness and Response Plans, in order to reinforce early detection in the event of new suspected cases of botulism should they occur.

Aesan has passed on all the available information to the regions, so that they can carry out the relevant investigations into the products that may have been consumed by some of the persons.

In at least three of the confirmed cases and one of the probable cases, the company producing the tortillas is the same. To date, it has not been possible to establish evidence, either in the products or in the processes, to link cause and effect. However, investigations are continuing with the cooperation of the production company.

Product recall

For its part, the Palacios Alimentación Business Group has voluntarily decided, as a precaution, to withdraw from its freshly packed potato omelette from stores, as well as to temporarily halt its manufacture, as this product has been associated with the cases of botulism confirmed in recent days.

The company has taken all necessary measures to detect a possible cause. The facilities have already been inspected four times by the health authorities with favourable results.

The group has asked all those who have purchased one of these products (Palacios, Chef Select, Auchan, Eroski, Unide, Consum, DIA, Ametller, Condis, El Corte Ingles, Carrefour, Alipende, Grupo IFA and Rikissimo) to refrain from consuming it and to return it to the point of sale where it was purchased, where the cost will be reimbursed.

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