Man dies after eating gas station nachos

Henrietta Strickland
May 25, 2017

Gehl Foods is working closely with health authorities at the federal, state, and local levels in order to determine what may have caused this specific outbreak of botulism on site.

How serious is botulism? Here are a few facts to know about this rare botulism outbreak in California.

Inside Valley Oak Food and Fuel there's no sign of a nacho cheese dispenser now, but there is an empty counter that's roped off - prepared food hasn't been sold at the store since May 5, according to Sacramento County Public Health.

In a report by CNN affiliate KTXL, another victim of the incident Lavinia Kelly was hospitalized after putting the nacho cheese sauce on some Doritos chips on the 21 of April. The other cases happened within days after.

Allegedly the cause of the illness was the nacho cheese sauce that the patients had consumed form the gas station.

The press release from CDPH states that the department has "received reports of 10 cases of botulism linked to this outbreak, and has learned that one patient has died".

Because the botulism toxin attacks the nerves, symptoms include difficulty swallowing, facial weakness, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, trouble breathing, nausea and paralysis, which typically set in between 12 and 36 hours after consuming the toxin, according to the Mayo Clinic. The outbreak in the Sacramento area left one man dead and sent nine people to a hospital. An attorney suing the manufacturer of the cheese told KTXL that two of the people who contracted botulism are teenagers. The status of the remaining six cases remains unknown.

Gas station food has a history of being somewhat risky.

Fewer than 100 cases of foodborne botulism are reported in the USA every year - in some years, there are not even 20 annual cases, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you or a family member have been experiencing the symptoms of botulism food poisoning and purchased food from Valley Oak Food and Fuel in Walnut Grove, California, see your doctor immediately.

A major outbreak of foodborne botulism stemmed from a church potluck in OH in 2015, when at least 29 people fell ill.

Health officials say the dispensing container and cheese dip were removed May 5, and that authorities believe the contamination posed no further risk to the public.

On Twitter, health officials and reporters are also keeping up with information as it emerges.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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