Health Care

Cheesy situation: Mom paralyzed after eating gas station nacho cheese

Cheesy situation: Mom paralyzed after eating gas station nacho cheese

A bad story out of Sacramento: Five people, including a 33-year-old mother of three, have been hospitalized with botulism - poisoning from botulinum bacteria - after eating nacho cheese sauce from a gas station deli area several weeks ago.

She is one of at least five people being treated at area hospitals after contracting botulism that Sacramento County health investigators have linked to the nacho cheese served by Valley Oak Food and Fuel. It is believed that the nacho cheese sauce is the common food eaten among all the victims is where the botulism is coming from.

The Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station has had its business permit to sell drinks and food taken away by Sacramento health officials.

Lavinia had stopped at a gas station April 21 and chose to drizzle the Doritos she bought with the gas station's nacho cheese sauce.

Officials suspect the source of the outbreak to be nacho cheese sauce. By that evening, she was vomiting and having difficulty breathing, Torres said.

A Go-Fund-Me page has been created to help with Kelly's medical bills and to support her three kids. Two days later, after experiencing intense fatigue, she was admitted to an intensive care unit, where she remains. When Kelly wants to see who has entered the room, he and other loved ones lift her eyelids open, sometimes using tape to keep them up.

"We just don't understand why this happened over a bag of chips and nacho cheese", Torres said. Really? How does that happen?

Seattle-based attorney Bruce Clark is working on Kelly's case, according to the Sacramento Bee. People can contract the serious illness through home-canned foods, improperly commercially canned foods, cheese sauce, and foods held in warmers for extended periods of time, according to FoodSafety.gov.

Per Consumerist, according to the Centers for Disease Control's most recent National Botulism Surveillance Summary, there were 199 confirmed cases of botulism in the U.S. in 2015, only 39 of which were food-borne.

"The source of the food product may be unrelated to the gas station", he added.

Kelly's family filed a civil lawsuit in the Superior Court of California on Tuesday, according to Food Safety News. "That's an essential question".

The firm's team has not yet estimated how much in damages the family will seek, but said past botulism cases have been resolved for millions of dollars.


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