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Potato Salad Responsible for Over 20 Cases of Botulism in Ohio

Liana DeMasi1 year ago

Officials have linked an outbreak of botulism to potato salad served at a church luncheon.

Details of the Botulism Outbreak

According to CBS4, over 20 attendees of a potluck dinner at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church became ill with botulism after eating potato salad.

So far, there has been 21 confirmed cases and 10 suspected cases including the death of a 54-year-old woman. The ill patients were treated with an antitoxin provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Local health officers informed the community that when canning foods at home, it is important to use a pressure canner or cooker in order to kill the germ that causes botulism. 

Facts About Botulism

  • Home-canned-caused outbreaks of botulism infecting two or more people typically happen every year.
  • Botulism only infects people who ingest contaminated foods and is not contagious.
  • Symptoms begin between 18 and 36 hours following consumption.
  • Botulism can cause paralysis, double vision, difficulty swallowing and respiratory failure.
  • There is an average of 145 cases a year and 15% are caused by food consumption. 


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