Dozens hospitalized after serious food poisoning in Moscow

Dozens hospitalized after serious food poisoning in Moscow

More than 120 people have had to consult medical services in Moscow in recent days, 30 of whom are still in intensive care, after serious food poisoning with suspected botulism, municipal authorities announced Monday June 17, 2024.

“At present, 55 people are in serious condition, including 30 in intensive care” out of a total of 121 poisoned individuals “presenting symptoms of poisoning and suspected botulism,” said Anastassia Rakova, the deputy of the mayor of Moscow.

“The lives of these patients are not threatened,” she said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

Questioned by the Russian Health Surveillance Agency, salads sold by a company delivering home-cooked meals have been withdrawn from sale. The company said in a statement that it had “started checking the entire supply and production chain”. They have also suspended their mobile delivery application while they check other products.

What is botulism?

Foodborne botulism is “a serious and potentially fatal, but rare disease”, which “blocks nerve functions and can lead to respiratory and muscular paralysis”, explains the World Health Organization (WHO) on its website.

This poisoning is caused by the ingestion of botulinum toxins, present in contaminated food.

Ms. Rakova said that “the city of Moscow and the regional Ministry of Health have identified the main products that could be the cause of the food poisoning.”

“An epidemiological investigation is underway,” she added.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, only 82 cases of botulism were confirmed in the European Economic Area in 2021, the latest year for which data has been published.

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