Update On NorCal Botulism Outbreak

There’s been an unfortunate series of botulism in Northern California, and it’s affected 9 people who are currently in the hospital, and officials are concerned there may be some more cases out there.

One Sacramento mom has been in the hospital for 3 weeks after eating the nacho cheese from Valley Oak Food and Fuel in Walnut Grove. Lavinia Kelly is in the intensive care unit, where she’s been left paralyzed and unable to speak, open her eyes, or breathe on her own. It started as double vision just a few hours after eating the cheese, and by the next day she was on a ventilator.

A lawsuit has been filed by the family against the gas station for “negligence, product liability and breach of implied warranty.” Officials say that botulism typically only happens when home-canning, and that it’s rare to happen in a store like this situation. They’re now investigating, trying to figure out the chain in the nacho cheese case. Where it came from, who made it, how it was prepared, all these variables. It may not be any fault of the gas station at all. Despite that, as a caution, the gas station’s food permit has been pulled, temporarily at first, and now until the investigation is complete.

Botulism is a bacteria, and it releases a nerve toxin which causes gradual paralysis and death in some cases. If you ate anything from that gas station between April 23 and May 5, that’s the critical timeframe, you should seek medical help if you’re displaying any symptoms (vomiting, blurred vision, difficulty breathing and muscle weakness).

We’re hoping everyone involved has received the necessary medical care early enough to make full recoveries, and we hope nobody else has to deal with this.


More from Mark S. Allen In The Morning

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