Food Standards Agency
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Warning on botulism outbreak in France

The Food Standards Agency is warning people not to consume certain branded foods that have been linked to an outbreak of botulism in France. Botulism is a rare but serious illness that causes muscle weakness and breathing problems, and can be fatal.

The pastes and spread affected are not distributed in the UK but may have been bought in France or off the Internet. They are produced by a company called La Ruche, based in Cavaillon, France, and are branded as:

  • Les Délices de Marie Claire
  • Terre de Mistral
  • Les Secrets d'Anaïs

The pastes or spreads are made with olives, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, bell-peppers, anchovies, tuna, chickpeas, artichokes and aubergines. They have been on sale in shops and markets particularly in the Provence, Cote D’Azur region since 31 May this year with a best before date of 16 December 2012 and lot number 112005.

These products have been withdrawn from sale in France.

If you have brought these products back from France or bought them online you should not eat them but should dispose of them immediately.

Eight adults, five from Vaucluse in southern France and three from the Somme district in the north of the country have become ill after eating these pastes and the products have all tested positive for botulism.

If you have already eaten any of these products and feel unwell, it's important that you seek medical attention straight away, and tell your doctor that you've eaten food from La Ruche.

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