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January 31, 1977

Type B Botulism Outbreak Caused by a Commercial Food ProductWest Virginia and Pennsylvania, 1973

JAMA. 1977;237(5):456-459. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270320034018

In the week of May 7,1973, seven persons contracted botulism after eating together. The most common symptoms were vomiting, constipation, dry mouth, dysphagia, and dysphonia. All were treated with trivalent botulinal antitoxin, and none died. Serum specimens obtained from all seven patients were negative for botulinal toxin, but stool specimens from three patients were positive for type B toxin. Electromyographic studies performed on five patients documented the neurophysiologic abnormalities of botulism. Commercially canned peppers in oil were implicated epidemiologically, and type B toxin was identified in leftover peppers. The processor voluntarily recalled the pepper product, and no further cases were reported.

(JAMA 237:456-459, 1977)