Two children suffer botulism poisoning after eating Loyd Grossman curry sauce

TWO children suffering from botulism poisoning after eating a Loyd Grossman korma sauce are improving in hospital, health chiefs said today.

A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said the two children from the same family who were admitted to hospital on Sunday were “stable and improving”.

The Food Standards Agency has advised the public not to consume jars of the sauce as it may pose a risk of botulism poisoning. It said a batch of the korma sauce has been recalled and is being removed from shop shelves.

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The agency said only one jar from the batch is known to have been contaminated with the bacteria which causes botulism. The recalled 350g jars have a best-before date of February 2013 and bear the batch code 1218R 07:21.

In its statement advising people not to consume jars of the sauce, the agency said: “This is because of the risk of botulism poisoning. Only one jar from the batch is known to have been contaminated with the bacteria Clostridium botulinum which causes botulism but the agency is advising people not to eat products from this batch as a precautionary measure.

“Two members of the same family who have contracted botulism and have eaten from a jar of this batch of sauce have been hospitalised in Scotland.”

In a separate statement the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said preliminary tests identified the toxin that causes botulism from the used jar.

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It has notified health professionals across the UK of the situation and has advised them to look out for people of all ages with possible symptoms.

Botulism is caused by a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, which attacks the nervous system.

An antitoxin has been given to both children.

The infection is not passed from person to person and symptoms usually occur between 12 and 36 hours after eating contaminated food, although symptoms can also appear in as little as six hours.

The HPA said it is working with Scottish authorities and the Food Standards Agency on the investigation.

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Dr Kathie Grant, a botulinum toxin expert at the HPA, said: “Cases of botulism are thankfully very rare in the UK, although it can be a very serious infection in those that are affected.

“We urge the public to take heed of this message and ensure that they immediately dispose of this product and to be aware of the signs and symptoms of botulism which include blurred vision, difficulty swallowing, headaches and muscle weakness.”

No further information regarding the patients is being released at the request of the family.