A man who contracted botulism, a rare and deadly poisoning, after consuming nachos purchased at a California gas station has died.
Martin Galindo, 37, was one of 10 people hospitalized after eating contaminated nacho cheese sauce at Valley Oak Food and Fuel in Walnut Grove, California, near Sacramento.
A GoFundMe account for Galindo said he was in the hospital for weeks, where he was on a ventilator, fell into a coma and was pronounced brain dead. He was a husband and father of two, according to the account.
The California Department of Public Health found toxins released by bacteria that cause the illness in cheese sauce that was sold at the gas station. The sauce was removed from the gas station May 5.
Lavinia Kelly, a mother of three who ate nacho cheese from Food and Fuel on April 21, has been in intensive care for more than three weeks. She has been unable to open her eyes or perform motor functions.
“While there are still unanswered questions about this outbreak, these tragic illnesses are important reminders to be vigilant about food safety,” said CDPH director and state public health officer Karen Smith.
According to the California Department of Public Health, the toxin that causes botulism can be found in foods that are not properly processed or stored.
“As we head into the summer barbecue season, both indoor and outdoor chefs need to be on guard against all food-borne illnesses,” Smith said.
Botulism symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, difficulty speaking, drooping eyelids, blurry vision, slurred speech and paralysis.
Between 5 and 10 percent of botulism cases are fatal, according to the World Health Organization.
The poisoning is rare; only 15 food-borne cases of botulism were reported 2014.
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