Nacho Cheese Sauce Suspected in Walnut Grove Botulism Outbreak: Five Victims
Both the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Sacramento County departments of Environmental Management and Public Health have been working tirelessly to find the source of a rare outbreak of botulism in California. So far, at least five victims have been hospitalized in the outbreak, with at least four having consumed Nacho Cheese sauce at the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove, California. All sales of prepared foods have been halted by the Sacramento County Department of Environmental Management pending the outcome a thorough investigation into how this potentially deadly bacterium got into the food supply.
At least one more potential victim has been identified, and authorities are waiting on confirmation as to whether the person has contracted botulism.
While authorities are clear that the source must be food or beverages sold at the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove, as well as perhaps other local institutions, the exact source of the Walnut Grove Botulism Outbreak has been hard to isolate – the leading theory, however, is that it was the Nacho cheese sauce.
Victims of botulism can suffer from paralysis, and death is often a result of pulmonary failure. As many as a third to a half of all botulism victims die if not treated quickly and effectively. The signs of botulism include weakness, drooping eyes, difficulty swallowing, and blurred or double vision.