A voluntary recall of almond-stuffed olives potentially infected with botulism has been implemented in the US, following the hospitalisation of two people in Finland – one of whom died.
The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has announced the recall in conjunction with manufacturer and packer Bio Gaudiano, only days after a similar recall in the UK and Ireland.
The imported 45 glass jars and 81 cans of the potentially Clostridium botulinum infected product are being collected and consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.
FDA officials have urged consumers to return any Bio Gaudiano brand Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds to the place of purchase for a full refund, or discard them.
Botulism, which is a potentially fatal form of food poisoning caused by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, has been linked to the Bio Gaudiano branded olives since two people were infected after eating them.
Remaining batch destroyed
In an update sent to FoodProductionDaily.com by US distributors, Pure Italian, it explained that the olives were found open in the victims’ refrigerator with other products and tested positive for
The olives tested positive for Clostridium botulinum but “test results of other products in refrigerator are currently unknown since Finland authorities refuse to release any other information.”
It added: “None of the other jars of the same batch and size along with other batches and sizes of almond stuffed olives tested positive.”
Of these, 12 jars were reported damaged and returned for refund in August, and a remaining 27 jars were destroyed, which was witnessed by FDA investigators.
As an added precaution, Pure Italian decided to destroy all remaining cans as well as ones picked up from local retailers.
The statement concluded that “all European and Italian lab tests of Bio Gaudiano facility and their products from around the world came back negative for any toxins.”
Food safety fears
Bio Guadiano were unavailable for a comment, but a statement on its website stated that in view of the contamination and to protect “the health of the consumer,” a recall of all products related to almond-stuffed olives would be implemented whilst Italian and Finnish authorities investigate.
In the statement, translated from Italian, the company said: “Official controls are still in progress by the Italian authorities and we are confident that they will ensure compliance by the company of all the production rules for compliance with hygiene and health products.”
The recall will reignite food safety fears in the US, where an on-going cantaloupe related Listeria outbreak continues to make headlines.
To date, 29 people have died and a further 139 across 28 states have become infected as a result of any of the four outbreak associated strains associated with the contaminated Jensen Farms brand cantaloupes.