3 people from Canada sickened in botulism outbreak in Bordeaux, France

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Published September 15, 2023 at 7:24 am

The Public Health Agency of Canada says three Canadian residents have fallen ill from a botulism outbreak in Bordeaux, France.

They’re among 10 people who have suspected botulism after eating sardines prepared and served at Tchin Tchin Wine Bar in an area popular among tourists.

One of the patients, who was not from Canada, has died.

The food was eaten between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10.

The public health agency says there could be more cases, including among Canadians travelling in France, because symptoms of botulism can take up to eight days to appear.

It says anyone who ate at the wine bar during that time should self-monitor and get immediate medical care if they have symptoms including nausea, vomiting, constipation, blurred or double vision, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth or difficulty breathing.

The Tchin Tchin Wine Bar is located close to the Rugby World Cup 2023 fan zone.

Botulism is a rare but serious disease caused by bacteria that produce a toxin. It is spread mostly by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated with the toxin.

Botulism can cause respiratory failure, paralysis and sometimes death.

Food that has not been properly canned, preserved, or fermented is a common source of botulism.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says safe food handling practices can help prevent botulism, including refrigerating leftovers promptly, using food stored in oil within 10 days of opening the containers, keeping those types of food in the fridge, canning foods properly and never eating food from cans that are dented, bulging or leaking.

-With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2023.

Canadian Press health coverage receives support through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. CP is solely responsible for this content.

The Canadian Press

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