Nacho Cheese Kills Man in California

A deadly botulism outbreak linked to contaminated nacho-cheese dip sold in a California gas station is a rare case of the disease that can cause paralysis and death.

The California Department of Public Health has confirmed that the nacho cheese sauce sold at the gas station has tested positive for the botulinum toxin.

A snack from Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove, California, is being blamed for ending Martin Galindo-Larios Jr.'s life.

CDPH said that the public is no longer at risk from the contaminated sauce because it was removed from sale on May 5. Someone who does contract botulism may have symptoms including double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, trouble swallowing, dry mouth and muscle weakness.

Spokesmen with the state health agency said they had no immediate updates on the conditions of the nine surviving victims. "As we head into the summer barbecue season, both indoor and outdoor chefs need to be on guard against all foodborne illnesses".

California health officials say there is no continued risk to the rest of the public but they urge people to go to the hospital if they show symptoms similar to those from botulism. A rather uncommon paralytic illness, botulism may result from a number of different situations; the foodborne variety is caused by "the consumption of foods containing pre-formed botulinum toxin", according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Wisconsin-based food distributor Gehl Foods said in a statement that it had been notified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that the company's nacho cheese was among the products that inspectors seized at the gas station.

"We immediately retested samples from the relevant lot of cheese, and it remains clear of any contamination", the Gehl's officials said, according to the Sacramento newspaper. The manufacturer said an independent lab also found no sign of the toxin in the samples tested there. Between five and 10 percent of botulism cases are fatal according to the World Health Organization.

KTXL got in touch with Kelly's sister who confirmed the reports as she explained the ordeal when she got a phone call from her ill sister "My phone rings and I pick up the phone and it's her, and she can't articulate a word", she says. Botulism is undetectable in foods because it is odorless and colorless.

Cook - Make sure foods are cooked to the right temperature.

Separate - Separate raw meats from other foods.

Botulism is rare these days.

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