8 people were hospitalized last weekend in Bordeaux due to botulism and one person has died to date. They had all eaten sardines from a jar at a local restaurant. Is it risky to eat canned sardines? Our medical director, Dr. Gérald Kierzek answers us.
A patient with botulism died, 7 people in intensive care
Yesterday the press informed us of the hospitalization of several people due to botulism at the Bordeaux University Hospital, in serious condition. In an urgent bulletin released last night, the Directorate General of Health finally announced the death of one of the patients. Eight people are still hospitalized in Bordeaux and Île-de-Europe, including 7 in intensive care or continuous monitoring units. “And other cases can always appear”alerts the health authority.
Everyone ate sardines in a Bordeaux restaurant
What we also learn today is what all the victims have in common. All intoxicated people, most “of foreign nationality (USA, Canada, Central Europe)“, would have eaten in the same restaurant in downtown Bordeaux, the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar, an establishment “very popular with Anglo-Saxon customers” according to the daily press. With a food on the menu which seems to be the origin of the problem: canned “sardines in a jar” made “home” by the restaurateur, even if analyzes are still underway to confirm the origin of this vast food poisoning.
As a reminder, botulism, linked to a neurotoxin, occurs up to a few days after consuming contaminated food. It manifests itself by digestive problems, blurred or double vision, dry mouth accompanied by difficulty swallowing or even speech and more or less severe paralysis of the muscles, which can lead to death.
Should we stop eating canned sardines?
Do canned or jarred sardines constitute a health risk when consumed? The question may arise in light of this event. Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, provides us with more precise insight:
“All outbreaks of botulism in Europe for years have been linked to canned goods, yes, but artisanal ones. These are jars or preserves made at home, by individuals, domestic production or by restaurateurs, in which the processes and controls are less followed or strict than in industrial canning.”
Buying canned sardines in your supermarket therefore does not seem to pose a problem in general, if hygienic conditions are respected.
“But you should always be wary of a can in poor condition: if it is deformed, rounded, or if you have the slightest doubt, do not consume! “