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Officials warn locally-made Corfinio soups, sauces may contain botulism

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) warns consumers not to eat any canned soups or sauces made by Corfinio Foods of Richmond.

These products were improperly processed, making them susceptible to contamination with Clostridium botulinum.

Ingestion of botulism toxin from improperly processed jarred and canned foods may lead to serious illness and death.

Corfinio Foods has already suspended production of all of its canned soups and sauces and the firm is currently working with VDACS to come into compliance with state requirements.

Although there have been no reported cases of illness associated with these products, VDACS is issuing this consumer warning so that people who have previously purchased the products do not consume them.

The soups and sauces are packaged in glass, mason style jars with metal, screw on lids and have been sold at the Brandermill Green Market. The jars are marked with the Corfinio Foods label.

 

The firm was made aware of the dangers associated with selling improperly processed foods of this type and is working with VDACS and the market to notify consumers of the product recall.

Consumers who have any of these products or any foods made with these products should discard them immediately. They should double bag the jars in plastic bags and place in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash. Those who don’t wear gloves when handling these products should wash their hands with soap and running water after handling.

Botulism toxin is odorless and colorless. It is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The initial symptoms frequently experienced are double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids and dry or sore throat.

Progressive descending paralysis, usually symmetrical, may follow. Infants with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated, and have a weak cry and poor muscle tone.

VDACS recommends that consumers experiencing any ill effects after consuming these products should consult their health care providers immediately.

This is the second botulism warning this month from the organization. The first was issued August 1. 

 

6 comments

  • Tar Zan

    Is it really that bad to store soup in glass mason jars? Seems like thats the only reason for this, as well as the recent recall issued by Souperb. I’d much prefer my soup in glass container, rather than plastic. I wish there was more detail how the soup was “improperly processed.”

    • Bridget

      They aren’t “storing” it in glass jars…. they are preserving it in glass jars using one of the many canning methods. The VDACS has much higher standards than most home canners. If the soup is stored properly, and eaten within a reasonable time from the purchase date… then it should be totally fine. Articles like these are making people to cautious about home canned items. This is how people survived not many decades ago. It’s really a lost art.

  • Maya

    It has to do with how they sealed the jar, just google proper techniques on homemade canning/sealing and you’ll learn more. If they didn’t heat the product enough, or properly prior to sealing it, the bacteria wasn’t killed off and instead grows within the jar.

  • JRJVA

    We attended the Brandermill Green Market on Saturday and remarked to one another when we observed the Corfinio Foods display. The jars were sitting in full sun and appeared steamy on the inside.

  • grundlemonster

    Botulism is cause by a toxin that is released by the bacteria in low-oxygen environments. So, it doesn’t make a difference if the food is in a glass container, versus a can or plastic container. Also doesn’t matter is the jars were sitting in full sun or not. The two ways to kill the bacteria and ensure that botulism doesn’t occur is to either cook the food properly before canning/jarring it, or can/jar it with high enough acidity levels to kill off the bacteria. The bacteria is naturally occurring and can be found in most soils and botulism can be contracted in ways other than just eating improperly processed foods.

  • JPBaley

    I think Grundlemonster meant “properly cook the food during canning”. Canning is a process involving high temperatures greater than 235 deg for an appropriate length of time to destroy the Clostridium botulinum SPORES in products. The spores are so heat tolerant they can survive 5 to 10 hours in boiling water! To reach 235 deg F, you need special equipment that cook foods under high pressure (may not work in a simple pressure cooker). If spores survive, they germinate into Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which then grow and produce the toxin. Acid conditions prevents the spores from germinating, so you can process pickled products in boiling water to kill living bacteria. Spores also won’t germinate if the product is kept refrigerated at all times. Manufacturers of canned foods must meet processes established by experts, which are specific to the product and developed specifically for the firm. The States, USDA and FDA require manufacturers under their jurisdiction to follow very specific regulations to protect the public.

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