Botulism outbreak in France linked to sardines; Lidl, Migros, Kaufland recall listeria-tainted smoked trout

Kaufland supermarket.

At least 10 suspected cases of botulism have been reported in France, resulting in one death, as a result of botulism poisoning linked to sardines served in a restaurant in Bordeaux.

The outbreak has been linked to the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar in Bordeaux, located close to the Rugby World Cup 2023 fan zone and in an area popular with tourists. Three of those sickened are Canadian citizens, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

“Sardines prepared by and served at the restaurant are suspected to be the source of illness. Exposures occurred from 4 to 10 September 4 to 10, 2023,” it said. “There may be additional cases identified among Canadians traveling in France who consumed a meal at this restaurant since symptoms of botulism can take up to eight days to appear.”

Botulism is a rare but serious disease caused by a toxin produced by a specific type of bacteria and contracted by humans primarily through the consumption of contaminated foods. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, constipation, blurred or double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, respiratory failure, paralysis, and death.

“The government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians. The Public Health Agency of Canada leads the prevention and control of infectious diseases in Canada and is in regular contact with its federal, provincial, and territorial, and international partners, such as Santé Publique France, to monitor and address the outbreak,” the Public Health Agency of Canada said in its release.

Separately, listeria has been discovered in smoked trout sold in Lidl, Kaufland, Migros, and other supermarkets and Germany and Switzerland. Several products from Vejle, Denmark-based seafood processor Aguston were identified as potentially contaminated with listeria, including its Nautica rainbow trout fillets (XXL, Natural & Pepper) sold in Lidl’s German outlets with a sell-by date of 5 October; Hot-smoked skinless trout fillets sold at the service counters of various supermarkets, also with a sell-by date of 5 October; Finest Seafood Smoked Rainbow Trout Fillets (Natural and Smoked) with a sell-by date of 27 September, sold in German Kaufland locations; natural rainbow trout fillets with sell-by dates of between 8 September and 5 October at Globe markets; and M-Classic Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified trout fillets, both natural and pepper and smoked flavored), with a sell-by date of 5 October, sold at Migros in Switzerland.

Lidl, Migros, Denner, and Coop have withdrawn the products from sale, and Aguston has apologized to its customers and those affected “for the inconvenience caused,” according to the Frankfurter Rundschau.

Photo courtesy of Elzbieta Krzysztof/Shutterstock


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