FDA warning: almond-stuffed olives pose botulism risk
US Food and Drug Administration
Mon, 2011-11-07 18:31
• FDA is warning consumers not to eat any Bio Gaudiano brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds.
• Pure Italian LLC of Watertown, Mass., the U.S. distributor, in conjunction with the manufacturer and packer, Bio Gaudiano of Italy, is voluntarily recalling all sizes and lots of Bio Gaudiano Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds. This product has been linked to a botulism outbreak in Europe.
• There are no reported cases of illness related to this product in the United States.
• Consumers should return the product to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a sealed container in the trash so that people and animals, including wild animals, can't get to it.
What is the Problem?
Health authorities in Europe have reported two cases of botulism in Finland involving hospitalization. The consumption of Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds from Italian manufacturer Bio Gaudiano has been linked to these illnesses. Reports from the European health authorities indicate that samples of this product have tested positive for botulinum toxin, which causes botulism.
What are the Symptoms of Illness/Injury?
Botulism is a serious, potentially fatal illness caused by eating food contaminated with botulinum toxin. Although cases are rare, botulism attacks the nervous system, and in its severe forms, can cause respiratory failure. Symptoms include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. Symptoms usually begin 18-36 hours after eating contaminated food, but they can occur as early as six hours or as late as 10 days.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone who eats food contaminated with botulinum toxin – whether adults or children – is at risk and can be affected.
What Do Consumers Need To Do?
Consumers should not eat any and all Bio Gaudiano brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds. If the product is still on hand, consumers should return it to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a sealed container in the trash so that people and animals, including wild animals. Consumers exhibiting any symptoms of botulism should see a health care provider immediately.
What Does the Product Look Like?
The recall of this product includes all batches and all sizes of Bio Gaudiano brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds, including those in glass jars and metal cans. Photos of the products are provided below.
Where is it Distributed?
According to information FDA has received from Pure Italian LLC, the U.S. distributor of this product, the product was initially distributed only to Massachusetts retailers.
314 ml glass jars of this Bio Gaudiano brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds may have been sold at SoWa farmers market in South End, Mass. In addition, the following stores in Massachusetts may have repackaged and resold the almond-stuffed olives in containers that do not carry the Bio Gaudiano name: Foodies Fresh Market, Boston, Mass.; Russo's, Watertown, Mass.; and Fresh Choice Supermarket, Framingham, Mass. If you have any questions, please talk to the retailer before purchasing or eating almond-stuffed olives.
What is Being Done about the Problem?
FDA continues to work with the distributor to ensure that products are removed from the marketplace.
Who Should be Contacted?
Consumers who have purchased Bio Gaudiano brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds of any size or lot are urged to discard, destroy or return the product to the place of purchase. Contact Pure Italian LLC at 617-372-1659 or 617-331-2062 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET for more information.
The information in this press release reflects the FDA’s best effort to communicate what it has learned from the manufacturer and the state and local public health agencies involved in the investigation. The agency will update this page as more information becomes available.