Authority warns of Italian olives with almonds

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Health: Federal Consumer Agency warns of Italian olives with almonds

The Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BVL) has issued a warning about Italian olives with almonds. The organic Gaudiano olives should best be disposed of in household waste due to the health risk they pose, the consumer protection ministry said in Berlin on Friday.

Two people in Finland had developed a life-threatening botulism infection after eating the Bio Gaudiano brand olives. The Federal Consumer Office therefore warns against the consumption of the olives and advises all consumers to dispose of the organic olives filled with almonds in a 314 milliliter glass with a best before date until 09/2012. A take back by the manufacturer has not yet been considered.

Health risks from olives contaminated with bacteria Olives from the Italian brand Bio Gaudiano may be contaminated with the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can trigger life-threatening botulism infections. Since two people in Finland had botulism after eating the olives and it can be assumed that the organic Gaudiano olives were also delivered to Germany, they should best be disposed of with the household waste, the ministry warned. This applies to olives with almonds in a 314-milliliter glass with a best before date until 09/2012. According to the ministry, the health risks associated with botulism should not be underestimated.

Symptoms of nerve disorder botulism Because the poisoning of the nervous system caused by the bacterial toxin botulinum toxin can at worst result in the death of those affected. The poisonous effect is based on a blockage of the signal transmission between nerves and muscles. Most of the time, the eye muscles are affected first, followed by paralysis of the tongue, palate and larynx muscles, for example, with those affected often having a particularly dry mouth and speech and swallowing disorders. Furthermore, botulism patients often suffer from diarrhea, nausea and vomiting as well as constipation and stomach cramps.

The experts warned that the muscle paralysis in botulism can also spread to the heart and respiratory muscles during the course of the infection, which can result in the death of those affected by suffocation or cardiac arrest. As a rule, poisoned people do not have a fever, so that botulism can be differentiated relatively clearly from other diseases that cause similar symptoms. Anyone who sees signs of a botulism infection after eating organic olives with almonds should see a doctor immediately, according to the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. According to the Ministry, the bacterial contamination of the olives is probably due to errors in the preservation of the olives. (fp)

Image: Benjamin Klack /

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