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Recalled Olives May Have Been Sold at Russo's in Watertown

The FDA recalled Bio Gaudiano organic olives after they were linked to a fatal botulism case in Europe. They are distributed by a Watertown firm.

Olives distributed by a Watertown distributor have been recalled because of a possible link to a botulism outbreak in Europe.

The olives were sold at in Watertown, and two other Boston area stores.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns people not to eat Bio Gaudiano Brand organic olives stuffed with almonds.

The olives are distributed by Watertown-based firm.

“Pure Italian LLC of Watertown, Mass., the U.S. distributor, in conjunction with the manufacturer and packer, Bio Gaudiano of Italy, is voluntarily recalling all sizes and lots of Bio Gaudiano Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds. This product has been linked to a botulism outbreak in Europe,” according to the FDA’s press release.

An elderly woman in Finland died of botulism, and the source of the outbreak was linked to Bio Gaudiano olives.

What the Bottle Look Like

Bio Gaudiano sells olives in glass jars with a white label and a green lid. They are also sold in cans to be used in bulk displays. The bottles have a lot number of EO511X and an expiration date of 05/2013.

The state Department of Public Health, working with the FDA, has determined that the product was distributed to at least three stores: Russo’s; Foodies Urban Market on Washington Street in Boston; and Fresh Choice Market on Worcester Road in Framingham, according to the Boston Globe.

State health officials said the product, in 314 ml glass jars, may also have been sold at the SoWa farmers market in Boston’s South End neighborhood during the past summer.

Botulism

No reports of botulism have been reported in the United States, according to the FDA. Botulism can be fatal for humans.

“Botulism is a serious, potentially fatal illness caused by eating food contaminated with botulinum toxin,” according to the FDA. “Although cases are rare, botulism attacks the nervous system, and in its severe forms, can cause respiratory failure.”

Symptoms include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness, the FDA release reads. Symptoms usually begin 18-36 hours after eating contaminated food, but they can occur as early as six hours or as late as 10 days.

If You Bought the Recalled Olives

People who have purchased the olives should return them to where they purchased the olives, or throw it away, the FDA said. If thrown away, the container should be in a sealed container in the trash so no people or animals can get to it.

Paul Nicolas November 07, 2011 at 04:11 PM
As of today, the Botulism outbreak has been confined to Europe and there have been no reports of Botulism associated with these olives domestically. It needs to be mentioned that only the “Organic Almond Stuffed Olives” from Bio Gaudiano are on recall. When Russo’s was notified of the recall, all of the Organic Almond Stuffed Olives were pulled off the display immediately and Russo’s is working closely with the FDA. The Organic Almond Stuffed Olives (sold in plastic deli containers only) were labeled Bio Gaudiano, and last sold at Russo’s on November 1, 2011, the day of the recall. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly at Russo’s. Paul Nicolas Food Safety Manager A. Russo andSons (617) 923-1500
Sonny Beaches November 07, 2011 at 06:10 PM
Thank you for the clarification Mr. Nicolas. Thanks to the Patch for breaking the story.

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