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Company recalls pickled products due to risk of botulism poisoning

California health department warns against consuming Shamshad Food's jarred products due to potential botulism contamination, leading to serious illness.

The California Department of Public Health is issuing a warning to consumers regarding certain jarred food products from Shamshad Food that were produced outside of the department's Cannery Program oversight, potentially leading to contamination with Clostridium botulinum.

Consumption of botulism toxin from improperly processed jarred and canned foods can result in rapid and severe illness, and even death.

Consumers are advised not to consume the following varieties of Shemshad Food jarred products:

These products were sold at various grocery stores in southern California, including Woodland Hills Market, Q Market, and Wholesome Choice Market. If consumers come across these products being offered for sale, they are encouraged to report it to the health department's toll-free complaint line at 800-495-3232.

In January 2024, the department issued a Notice of Violation to Shemshad, and further actions, including license revocation, may be taken as the investigation continues.

Shemshad, based in Los Angeles, is voluntarily recalling its Litteh Pickle and Pickled Diced Vegetables, Eggplant, Garlic, and HaftBijar products at this time. These products are sold under the Shemshad brand name in 16-ounce glass jars with screw-on metal lids.

Consumers should be aware that botulism toxin is both odorless and colorless, making it impossible to detect if a product is affected. If consumers have any of these products or any foods made with them, they should immediately discard them. It is recommended to double bag the jars in tightly closed plastic bags and dispose of them in a non-recyclable trash receptacle outside the home. If handling these products, consumers should wear rubber or latex gloves or wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least two minutes.

Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Symptoms may include double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, dry or sore throat, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, paralysis of neck and extremities, and respiratory muscle paralysis. Infants with botulism may exhibit lethargy, poor feeding, constipation, weak cry, and poor muscle tone.

Consumers who experience any adverse effects after consuming these products should seek immediate medical attention from a healthcare provider or visit an emergency room.

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