(RxWiki News) People often associate foodborne illness with dairy and poultry, but even canned vegetables can pose a risk when prepared improperly.
Concerns about botulism in specific jarred food products have alerted health departments and led to a recall.
Consumers are being warned to discard any of the recalled products and any foods prepared using the products.
"Check your pantry for recalled or expired food items."
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the California Department of Public Health issued a warning against eating jarred food products produced by a company called VR Green Farms.
VR Green Farms is based in San Clemente, CA, and sells products both in San Clemente and online across the US. The company has voluntarily recalled a number of products due to concerns about botulism, including its Pine Nut Basil Pesto, Pickled Farm Mix, Old World Tomato Sauce, Sundried Tomatoes in Olive Oil, Tuscan Grilling Sauce and Pasta Sauce.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum can cause botulism — a rare but potentially severe illness. The illness often has symptoms like double vision, muscle weakness, slurred speech, and drooping eyelids and can develop to involve paralysis of areas like the arms, legs and respiratory muscles.
The CDC noted that outbreaks of foodborne botulism have often been tied to home-canned foods.
The recalled products have VR Green Farms labels and were packaged in Mason-style glass jars with screw-on metal lids, the FDA reported.
The FDA reported that the products may have been improperly produced, leading to the concerns about botulism. The Ohio Department of Health is investigating two possible foodborne botulism cases that may be linked to VR Green Farms products. The investigations are ongoing, and the health departments and CDC are working to find out more.
The FDA urged consumers to discard these products and any food made with them immediately and reminded the public that the toxin that causes botulism is both odorless and colorless — it cannot be detected by sight or smell.
"Double bag the cans in plastic bags and place in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash," the FDA recommended. "Wear gloves when handling these products or wash your hands with soap and running water."