Additional possible cases of poisoning due to eating canned sardines in France

Additional possible cases of poisoning due to eating canned sardines in France

The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday the possibility of other cases of food poisoning linked to the consumption of quantities of canned sardines in a French restaurant in the city of Bordeaux (southwest) due to the failure to definitively identify all of the site’s customers.

Fifteen customers of the restaurant suspected in the case were identified as “suspected cases of botulism,” according to a report issued by health authorities on Friday that reported the death of one of those infected.

Fourteen of these fifteen reported cases belong to foreigners of American, Canadian, Irish, Greek, British and German nationalities, according to the World Health Organization.

What these people have in common is that they ate homemade canned sardines in a bar called “Chin Chin”, between September 4 and 10 in the city of Bordeaux, which this month hosted the first two matches of the 2023 Rugby World Cup (Ireland vs. Romania and Wales vs. Fiji).

According to the World Health Organization, the French investigation concluded through credit card receipts that approximately 25 people were “exposed (i.e., may have consumed) the suspected food item.”

The United Nations organization added, "Given the incubation period of food poisoning (in the body), which can be up to eight days, and since not all restaurant customers in Bordeaux have been identified despite the efforts made, it is still possible that other cases linked to this may emerge." event”, in France or abroad.

In France, the Bordeaux Public Prosecutor's Office opened a preliminary investigation on Friday on charges of "murder and unintentional injury," also related to "putting foodstuffs harmful to health on the market" and "selling spoiled or poisonous foodstuffs."

Food poisoning, known as botulism, is a rare and serious neurological condition that leads to death in 5% to 10% of cases. It is caused by a very strong toxic substance, produced by bacteria that grow especially in poorly preserved foods due to lack of sufficient sterilization.
This causes eye problems (double vision), difficulty swallowing, and in advanced cases, it leads to muscle paralysis, especially the respiratory muscles, which may lead to death.