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The U.S. Food and drug Administration (FDA) warns consumers about possible health risks from eating olives contaminated with a deadly bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which can cause botulism, a potentially fatal illness.

The olives are being recalled by the manufacturer, Charles Brown di Rutigliano & Figli S.r.1, of Bari, Italy. So far, no illnesses have been reported.

The recalled olives should not be consumed with other foods or alone, even if the olives do not appear to be spoiled. Consumers should discard the olives or return them to the store they bought them from. If consumers are unsure, they should contact the retailer for further information to help determine if the olives in their possession were part of the recall.

The olives are sold under the following brands: Borrelli, Bonta di Puglia, Cento, Corrado’s, Dal Raccolto, Flora, Roland and Vantia, and have codes that start with the letter “G” and are followed by 3 or 4 digits. All sizes of cans, glass jars and pouches of Cerignola, Nocerella and Castelvetrano type olives are affected.

Symptoms of botulism include general weakness, dizziness, double vision, trouble with speaking or swallowing, difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation. People experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Consumers may also report illnesses associated with consumption of these olives to the nearest FDA district offices.

The recall was originally initiated on March 27, 2007. The olives were distributed to wholesalers whom market them nationally to retail stores and restaurant owners. The FDA decided additional warnings are currently needed, because the company has NOT contacted importers with specific recall instructions.

The FDA is making the following requests while re-emphasizing the Recall:

• Importers of these olives should discontinue distribution, isolate held stocks and notify customers to take similar actions to prevent the products from reaching consumers. Importers should contact their local FDA office for assistance in implementing the recall.

• Food manufacturers who have repacked the olives for sale under different names or who have used them in the production of other food should contact their local FDA office.

• Restaurants, delicatessens, and other food service providers should discontinue using the olives, dispose of their opened containers and contact their suppliers for instructions on what to do with unopened containers.

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