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What Are the Different Types of Botulism?Botulism is a rare but dangerous bacterial infection that is often caused by food poisoning. Symptoms from botulism start with weakness in the face, which can cause blurred vision, slurred speech, and difficulty breathing and swallowing. Symptoms continue down the body, often causing abdominal pain and vomiting. A mild case of botulism can take weeks to months to recover from, while a severe case could take years. If left untreated, botulism is potentially fatal. One of the tricky aspects of tracking the origin of a botulism case is that there are multiple ways that a person can contract the botulinum toxin. Knowing which type of botulism you have can determine whether you will be successful in filing a food poisoning lawsuit:

  1. Foodborne Botulism: The most common form of botulism is the type that you get from eating contaminated food. When processed foods are not properly sealed, the botulinum toxin is able to grow to the point that it becomes dangerous for consumption. Botulism is commonly associated with canning fruits and vegetables at home, when people may not tightly seal their preserved foods. However, it is also possible to contract botulism from commercially processed foods.
  2. Infant Botulism: Infants can develop botulism when spores in their intestines grow and become toxic. An infant’s digestive system is not able to fully break down spores that naturally appear in foods such as honey. As a result, the spores may linger in their intestines and grow.
  3. Adult Intestinal Toxemia: Similar to infant botulism, some adults have difficulty digesting spores, allowing them to become toxic bacteria inside the digestive tract. This is a rare condition that is most likely to occur in someone who has pre-existing gastrointestinal problems.
  4. Wound Botulism: People can develop botulism if bacteria infect an opening on the body and become toxic. Wound botulism most commonly occurs with people who suffer a severe injury or use drugs that they inject into their bodies.
  5. Iatrogenic Botulism: You may have heard of botulinum toxin used by another name: Botox. Cosmetic surgeons inject small amounts of the botulinum toxin into patients’ faces in order to remove wrinkles. An overdose of the botulinum toxin can cause botulism.

Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Attorney

People diagnosed with botulism may be able to quickly narrow down the likely source of their infection if they have never had cosmetic injections, are drug-free, or have not suffered serious wounds recently. An Illinois food poisoning lawyer at Newland & Newland, LLP, will help you track down the source of your foodborne illness. Schedule a consultation by calling 312-981-0409.

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How Botulism Can Come from Commercial FoodsCases of foodborne botulism in the U.S. are rare, typically numbering between 10 and 30 each year. Some botulism cases originate from people canning and preserving their own foods. Cracks or leaks in a food container will allow harmful bacteria to grow inside the food. You would not have anyone to file a lawsuit against if your own negligence in storing your food caused your illness. However, there are cases of foodborne botulism coming from commercial food producers, who can be held liable for illnesses that their products cause.

Commercial Canning

Commercially canned foods are less likely to contain bacteria than the food people can themselves at home because businesses have safety standards that they must follow, including:

  • Heating the cans long enough to kill spores that may cause botulism; and
  • Sealing the cans to prevent food contamination.

Foods that are low in acid are more vulnerable to bacteria, such as vegetables, fruits, and fish. You may recognize that canned food is contaminated if the can is bulging or the food gives off a bad odor. However, the bacteria do not always change the food’s taste or odor.

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The story of the man who died from contracting botulism as part of an outbreak in northern California hit the news recently, making food poisoning and safe food handling procedures a national discussion. In total, nine people were hospitalized as a result of becoming ill with botulism after consuming nacho cheese sauce purchased from a gas station near Sacramento in April 2017. After health officials removed four batches of the sauce from the gas station, the sauce tested positive for the botulinum toxin, the toxin that causes botulism.

Botulism can have deadly effects on victims. Know the types of food that can be contaminated with botulism and how you can protect yourself and your children from this risk. Knowing the symptoms of botulism and when to seek medical treatment are also critical to overcoming this illness if you or your children become sick.

What Causes Botulism?

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Deer Antler Tea Tied to Los Angeles Botulism Cases

Two residents of Orange County have become ill with botulism, a potentially deadly illness linked to the consumption of canned and fermented goods. One of the residents was confirmed to be suffering from botulism by the Orange County Health Care Agency. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health suspects the two cases are linked to the consumption of deer antler tea obtained in March of 2017 and urge all individuals who have this tea in their possession to dispose of it.

Botulism and other types of food poisoning can have long-lasting repercussions for victims. Individuals who suffer from these repercussions may seek compensation for their damages from the parties responsible for their illnesses.

Botulism Symptoms

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Can Alcoholic Beverages Cause Food Poisoning?

Not all instances of food poisoning are the result of eating contaminated food. Dietary supplements and beverages can contain harmful bacteria that can cause an individual to suffer from illnesses like listeriosis, salmonellosis, norovirus, and botulism. Alcoholic beverages are a bit different than other types of beverage because they are fermented and distilled, which kills any harmful bacteria contained within the liquid. This does not mean that is is impossible to become ill after consuming an alcoholic beverage. It is possible to suffer from food poisoning because of harmful bacteria in the non-alcoholic ingredients mixed into a cocktail, such as contracting listeriosis after consuming a White Russian made with cream that had not been properly refrigerated. It is also possible to contract harmful bacteria because of the way a beverage is packaged.

Botulism and Other Dangers in Alcoholic Beverages

Botulism is a rare type of food poisoning, but when it occurs, it can be fatal. It is often associated with canned food products.

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