The church is usually a place where people go to heal mentally, physically, and spiritually, right? Well, due to poor food preparation, many suffered at one church.
There was one fatality and at least 20 others were sick with symptoms of foodborne botulism following a weekend church potluck in Ohio, the hospital reported.
The Fairfield Medical Center said in a statement that the patients, five of whom were in a critical condition, had all attended a picnic at a church in Lancaster on Sunday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had sent anti-toxin to treat the sick, the hospital said, while local health officials investigated the cause of the outbreak.
Botulism is a rare, but potentially fatal, paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by certain bacteria, according to the CDC.
The disease begins with weakness, trouble seeing, feeling tired, and trouble speaking. This may then be followed by weakness of the arms, chest muscles, and legs. The disease does not usually affect consciousness or cause a fever.
Botulism can occur in a few different ways. The bacterial spores that cause it are common in both soil and water. They produce botulinum toxins when exposed to low oxygen levels and certain temperatures. Foodborne botulism happens when food containing the toxin is eaten.
Infant botulism happens when the bacteria develops in the intestines and releases toxin. Typically this only happens in children less than six months of age as after that protective mechanisms develop.
Wound botulism is found most often among those who inject street drugs. In this situation, spores enter a wound and, in the absence of oxygen, release toxin. It is not passed directly between people.
The diagnosis is confirmed by finding the toxin or bacteria in the person in question.
Even though this one incident occurred only a couple of years ago, we receive reports from this kind of food issues with gatherings all the time.
Prevention is primarily through proper food preparation. Here are some food packing tips that literally might save your life:
Keep Food Out of the “Danger Zone”
Bacteria grow rapidly between the temperatures of 40° F and 140° F. After food is safely cooked, hot food must be kept hot at 140° F or warmer to prevent bacterial growth.
Within two hours of cooking food