Officials with Sacramento County Public Health are investigating a foodborne botulism outbreak that has sickened at least five people to date, all hospitalized ans in serious condition. The investigation surrounds food purchased at Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove.

Image/Thadius856 via wikimedia commons
Image/Thadius856 via wikimedia commons

Sacramento County Public Health is working closely with the Sacramento County Department of Environmental Management to stop the sale of prepared food items at this location.

Public Health is asking people who consumed prepared food from Valley Oak Food and Fuel from April 23, 2017 through Monday and have experienced any of the above symptoms, to please contact their healthcare provider.

Food borne botulism is a severe intoxication caused by eating the preformed toxin present in contaminated food.

Food borne botulism occurs when the bacterium Clostridium botulinum is allowed to grow and produce toxin in food that is later eaten without sufficient heating or cooking to inactivate the toxin. Botulinum toxin is one of the most potent neurotoxins known.

Typically in a few hours to several days after you eat the contaminated food you will start to show the classic symptoms; blurred vision, dry mouth, and difficulty in swallowing. Gastrointestinal symptoms may or may not occur. If untreated, the paralysis always descends through the body starting at the shoulders and working its way down.

The most serious complication of botulism is respiratory failure where it is fatal in up to 10% of people. It may take months before recovery is complete.

If the disease is caught early enough it can be treated with antitoxin. If paralysis and respiratory failure happen, the person may be on a ventilator for several weeks.