Woman dies of botulism poisoning after eating organic olives
Second patient from same household recovering; products removed from store shelves
An elderly woman has died as a result of botulism poisoning, produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, after eating some Italian olives that contained the toxin.
According to the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District, she succumbed to the illness on Thursday.
Another adult member of the same family remains in hospital.
The second patient's condition is said to be improving.
Last week it was discovered that two persons from the same Helsinki household had contracted botulism poisoning.
Prior to their illness, both had eaten from a jar of stuffed organic olives, which was subsequently discovered to contain the toxin, as reported by THL, the National Institute for Health and Welfare.
The olives in question were manufactured and packaged in Italy, and the jar contains the Finnish wording "Gaudiano Bio oliivi mantelitäytteellä" (Gaudiano Organic Olives Stuffed with Almonds).
The best-before dates on the product are 08/2012 or 09/2012 and the batch numbers H2510X or L1810X.
The olives have naturally been taken off store shelves, but it is possible there may still be some in consumers' kitchen cupboards.
The Finnish Food Safety Authority EVIRA warns against eating these potentially extremely dangerous products.
Around 900 jars were imported last autumn.
They have been on sale at least in large supermarkets belonging to the K-chain in Espoo (Iso Omena), Vantaa (Jumbo), and Rovaniemi (Eteläkeskus).
Roughly 160 jars have been sold from these three outlets, and the products have also been on sale to customers at four restuarants in the Greater Helsinki area - Kolme Seppää (Helsinki), La Famiglia (Helsinki and Vantaa), and Rafaello (Helsinki).
The European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has also been notified of the danger, and for instance the Food Standards Agency in the UK has issued similar warnings and removed the olives from sale in Britain.
Outbreak News: Two Helsinki residents sickened with botulism after eating Gaudiano Olives
RASFF Portal Notification
UK Food Standards Agency