Public health officials in the US state of Ohio have identified potato salad made with home canned potatoes as the most likely cause of an outbreak of botulism that has affected people who attended a “church potluck” in Lancaster on 19 April.
As of 27 April, there were 21 confirmed cases, including one death, associated with this outbreak. In addition, there are a further 10 suspected cases where individuals are exhibiting symptoms consistent with botulism. The cases have all been treated with Clostridium botulinum antitoxin and 12 remain in hospital.
Outbreak investigators from the Fairfield Department of Health, The Ohio Department of Health and CDC have conducted laboratory tests and interviews with potluck attendees and have concluded that the potato salad was the must probable cause of the outbreak. Home-canned potatoes were used to prepare the implicated salad and consumers are being urged to follow safe guidelines for canning vegetables at home.
Read the joint Fairfield Department of Health and Ohio Department of Health press statement here.