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Ten Cases Of Botulism Caused By Nacho Cheese Sauce Reported In California

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Ten people have had to go to the hospital after eating nacho cheese sauce from a gas station outside Sacramento, California.

State and local officials have confirmed that the patients contracted botulism after consuming the nacho cheese. In a statement last week, the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services said that the source of the sickness “appears to be prepared food, particularly nacho cheese sauce” served at a gas station in Walnut Grove, CNN reports.

Botulism is a rare condition that happens when nerve toxins are released from a specific kind of bacteria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Symptoms include blurry vision, slurred speech, drooping eyelids and paralysis. In some cases, botulism can be fatal.

According to KTXL, Lavinia Kelly put nacho cheese sauce on Doritos chips on April 21, and had to be rushed to the hospital soon after. Kelly’s sister, Theresa, said she thought her sister was going to die.

My phone rings and I pick up the phone and it’s her, and she can’t articulate a word.

Kelly has been in the intensive care unit for over three weeks.

The gas station store was ordered to stop selling prepared foods as of May 5, but it was allowed to open and sell pre-packaged foods on May 8, after officers from the California Department of Public Health confiscated four bags of the cheese sauce in question.

State health officials have told CNN that the problem is contained to the nacho cheese sauce, and that there does not appear to be an ongoing public risk.

The CDC website states that botulism outbreaks are highly uncommon. Botulism caused by food is spread by ingesting contaminated food items. Symptoms generally appear from 18 to 36 hours after eating the food. On the bright side, the CDC adds that only 3-5% of patients who suffer from botulism die.

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