A full recall of the product batch has been issued and the sauce is being removed from shop shelves.
The affected batch is: 350g jars of Lloyd Grossman Korma sauce with a best before date of February 2013. The sauce has a batch code of: 1218R 07:21
Preliminary tests carried out by the Health Protection Agency in England (HPA) have identified the toxin that causes botulism from a used jar of Lloyd Grossman Korma sauce. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is advising consumers who have purchased the particular batch of the product to dispose of it and not consume. This follows two cases of botulism in one family in Scotland where the contaminated jar of sauce was discovered. No further cases have been identified to date. There is no evidence to suggest that the samples taken from the jar for testing could have been separately contaminated from another source. Further tests on this and from another unused jar of the korma sauce taken from the home of the patients are underway.
Health professionals across the UK have been made aware of the suspected cases and advised to look out for people of all ages with possible symptoms.
Botulism is caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum which attacks the nervous system. There is a botulinum antitoxin available which is very effective in treating botulism when it is used in the early stages of the infection and both children have received this.
The infection is not passed from person to person and symptoms usually occur between 12 and 36 hours after eating contaminated food although symptoms can also appear in as little as six hours or take longer.
Signs and symptoms of botulism, include blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, headaches and muscle weakness.
Contact the PHA on 028 9031 1611
Notes to the editor
2. There are three different types of botulism:
- Food-borne botulism – which is caused by eating food that has been contaminated with the botulinum toxin as a result of it being improperly canned or preserved.
- Would botulism – occurs when a wound becomes infected with botulinum spores which then germinate, reproduce and then produce toxins. This usually occurs when the tissue is damaged through injecting contaminated heroin or snorting contaminated cocaine.
- Infant botulism – is very rare but can occur if a baby swallows some botulinum bacteria spores, which then produce toxins in their intestines. Infant botulism usually only affects babies who are less than 12 months old. After this, children develop a defence against the spores.
3. Botulism is rare in the UK – there have only been 33 recorded cases of food-borne botulism in England and Wales since 1989, with 27 of these linked to a single outbreak.