California botulism outbreak linked to gas station nacho cheese sauce

California botulism outbreak linked to gas station nacho cheese sauceNacho cheese sauce was sold in Walnut Grove; California, at a small mom-and-pop gas station is the likely source of the current botulism outbreak in the small town.

California health inspectors linked the last week’s botulism outbreak, a fatal form of food poisoning to a nacho cheese sauce traced back to a mom-and-pop gas station in Walnut Grove. Outside, Valley Oak Food and Fuel is open for business, but inside, the health officials have shun the sale of food items and roped off a part of the store.

State and county health officials have also affirmed nine people have been hospitalized, including a 16-year-old. Five cases were reported on May 5. This week four more have become sick. A tenth person is being tested with similar symptoms related to the potentially fatal illness.
As the numbers falling sick continues to grow, the concern for those living in this small town also increases.

“It’s tough on a small town,” said a local woman, who did not wish to give her name. “It’s tough because we know the youth affected by it, and so our hearts are heavy.”

“From the preliminary cheese testing, it was positive for botulism,” said Dr. Oliva Kasirye, a health inspector with the Sacramento County Public Health Department, who is a part of the investigation on-going.

With the determination of the source, the investigation has turned to the cause to understand if the gas station is involved in mishandling the food items or the distributors or manufacturers were at fault.

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