Health Care

5 people hospitalized after eating gas station nacho cheese

5 people hospitalized after eating gas station nacho cheese

It's insane, ' Dawn Kelly, Lavinia's mother, added.

She's now one of at least five people being treated at area hospitals after contracting botulism that Sacramento County health investigators have linked to the nacho cheese served by Valley Oak Food and Fuel.

The Sacramento County Environmental Management Department collected the nacho cheese sauce on May 5 and stopped the sale of all prepared food at Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station on May 6. Between five and 10 percent of botulism cases are fatal according to the World Health Organization. Among them, 29 guests were confirmed to have botulism, one of whom died from respiratory failure shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Food-borne illness outbreaks are often tied to fresh foods - unwashed raw vegetables, tainted undercooked meat, raw dairy products - but not the neon yellow nacho cheese sauce you'd get at a movie theater or convenience store. Despite five confirmed cases of botulism and the possibility of four others, all resulting from consuming nacho cheese sauce sold at the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported cases of botulism are rare.

"She's been doing good, and we just don't understand why this happened over a bag of chips and nacho cheese", Torres told the Sacramento Bee. The next day, Kelly was placed on ventilators and admitted to the ICU where she has spent the last three weeks, even missing her birthday last May 17.

'(The gas station) should have been more aware.

Kelly's sister, Theresa Kelly, said the battle to recover has been an ordeal for the whole family. I know they probably didn't make the cheese per se, but they handle that stuff in the store, ' Torres said.

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Botulism is an illness that can lead to paralysis, breathing difficulty and sometimes death.

Kelly's prognosis, according to the lawsuit, is uncertain.

The attorney hired by Kelly's family is Bruce Clark.

The family filed a lawsuit against the gas station in Sacramento County Superior Court on Tuesday for negligence, product liability and breach of implied warranty.

Per Consumerist, according to the Centers for Disease Control's most recent National Botulism Surveillance Summary, there were 199 confirmed cases of botulism in the USA in 2015, only 39 of which were food-borne.

"Only human mistakes create the environment for botulinum toxin to form", her lawyer told the Sacramento Bee. "That's an essential question".


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