A case of botulism linked to the consumption of nacho cheese sauce sold at a gas station in California has already killed one and infected at least nine others.
Martin Galindo became ill just a couple of weeks ago. He was diagnosed with a rare case of botulism and his condition started to deteriorate immediately. In fact, he reportedly suffered “respiratory complications,” leaving the hospital with no choice but to put him on a ventilator. And at some point, Galindo also went into a coma. Five days ago, his wife, Lorena, said that the spread of illness and lack of care at a previous hospital has left her husband “clinically brain dead.” Because of this, Lorena made the painful decision of taking her husband off life support on Thursday. Galindo passed away while surrounded by his wife and two kids.
Galindo is not the only one who became ill just a few week ago. 33-year-old Lavinia Kelly also felt sick to her stomach after snacking on Doritos drizzled with nacho cheese sauce during a stop in her commute. Within hours, Kelly started to feel fatigued. The next morning, she started experiencing double vision and took herself to the Sutter Medical Center. After being sent home hours later, however, her condition worsened. When evening came, Kelly was already experiencing difficulty breathing and was vomiting too. The following day, Kelly found herself in the intensive care unit and on a ventilator. Soon, she realized she could no longer open her eyes. In fact, her partner would have to use a tape just to keep them up.
“She’s been doing good, and we just don’t understand why this happened over a bag of chips and nacho cheese. Really? How does that happen?” Kelly’s partner, Ricky Torres, said during an interview with The Sacramento Bee.
California health department removes tainted nacho cheese sauce from the gas station.
The gas station that Galindo, Kelly and other victims got their nacho cheese sauce from is the Valley Oak Food and Fuel in Walnut Grove. According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the tainted nacho cheese sauce has already been removed from on May. Furthermore, the department believes that there is no more health risk to the public that’s linked to the said product.
Nonetheless, the CDPH is reminding the public to exercise vigilance when it comes to food safety especially during the summer season. “As we head into the summer barbecue season, both indoor and outdoor chefs need to be on guard against all foodborne illnesses,” CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith said in a recent statement.
Moreover, CDPH says it has already informed local health departments regarding various symptoms of botulism. These include drooping eyelids, blurred or double vision, dry mouth, muscle weakness and difficulty swallowing. If you happen to be experiencing any of these symptoms, CDPH recommends that you contact your health care providers as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Valley Oak and Food had temporarily lost its permit to sell food and drink earlier in the month. Employees also refused to comment regarding its botulism-related incident. As for the victims, if you want to help Galindo’s family during this difficult time, you can visit the GoFundMe page set up in his name.