A "paralytic illness" known to have deadly consequences has California health officials warning consumers to stay away from various VR Green Farms' jarred produce citing a possible botulism risk.
The consumer warning by the California Department of Public Health and voluntary recall by the San Clemente-based produce company came after two cases of suspected food-borne botulism infections possibly linked to the company’s pine nut basil pesto were reported, according to a statement released by the CDPH Wednesday.
Although rare, botulism has serious effects on the body and in some cases can result in death. The nerve toxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria is odorless and tasteless making it hard to detect produce contamination, according to the CDPH. Initial symptoms following infection include: blurred or double vision, drooping eyelids, and dry or sore throat.
VR Green Farms has voluntarily recalled its pine nut basil pesto, pickled farm mix, old world tomato sauce, sundried tomatoes in olive oil, Tuscan grilling sauce and pasta sauce. All of the products were sold under the VR Green Farms labels and packaged in mason-style glass jars with metal lids at stands in San Clemente and on the Internet.
In a joint effort, the CDPH, US Food and Drug Administration and the Ohio Department of Health are coordinating an investigation into the two suspected food-borne botulism infections.
Health officials are warning anyone with these products to discard them immediately by double bagging the jars in plastic bags and throwing them away in the trash -- they are not to be recycled. They also advise to wear gloves when handling the possibly contaminated products and to wash hands with soap and running water after handling.
The CDPH recommends anyone experiencing symptoms of botulism after ingesting any of the products listed to see a health care provider. As well, if anyone observes the products listed being sold they should report it to the CDPH at 800-495-3232.