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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
April 12, 2016

Farm-to-Table Botulism Concern

JAMA. 2016;315(14):1444. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.3123

The demand for fresh, healthy food has driven the popular farm-to-table trend, but fresh doesn’t always mean healthy. Case in point: 2 severe botulism cases in 2014 that public health investigators traced to farm stand pesto. The Cincinnati outbreak was the first linked with pesto in the United States and the first reported worldwide in more than 15 years.

The young women who developed botulism were roommates. A few days after they shared a meal of chicken, pasta, vegetables, and pesto, one was admitted to a hospital after twice going to the emergency department (ED) for throat pain that worsened. She couldn’t swallow, had double vision, and was losing sensation in her right arm (Burke P et al. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65[7]:175-177).

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