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3 Canadians sickened in France’s botulism outbreak are from Quebec: PHAC

1 patient, who was not from Canada, has died
The Public Health Agency of Canada says three Canadian residents have fallen ill from a botulism outbreak in Bordeaux, France. They’re among 10 people who have suspected botulism after eating sardines prepared and served at Tchin Tchin Wine Bar. The Tchin Thin wine bar is seen in Bordeaux, southwestern France, Thursday, Sept.14, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Sophie Garcia

The Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed that the three Canadians who fell ill in a botulism outbreak in France are from Quebec.

They’re among at least 12 people who have suspected botulism after eating sardines prepared and served at Tchin Tchin Wine Bar in Bordeaux, France.

The food was eaten between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10.

The Associated Press has reported that some patients have been released from hospital, but most of them are in intensive care or critical condition.

Canada’s public health agency says it cannot divulge the condition of the patients from Quebec because it is considered private health information.

Other tourists from the U.S., Ireland, Germany and Spain were among those sickened.

One patient, who was not from Canada, has died. France’s public health agency is leading the investigation.

PHAC says there could be more cases, including among other Canadians travelling in France, because symptoms of botulism can take up to eight days to appear.

It says anyone who ate at the wine bar between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10 should self-monitor and get immediate medical care if they have symptoms including nausea, vomiting, constipation, blurred or double vision, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth or difficulty breathing.

The Tchin Tchin Wine Bar is located in an area popular with tourists. It is also close to the Rugby World Cup 2023 fan zone.

Botulism is a rare but serious disease caused by bacteria that produce a toxin. It is spread mostly by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated with the toxin.

Botulism can cause respiratory failure, paralysis and sometimes death.

Food that has not been properly canned, preserved, or fermented is a common source of botulism.

PHAC says safe food handling practices can help prevent botulism, including refrigerating leftovers promptly, using food stored in oil within 10 days of opening the containers, keeping those types of food in the fridge, canning foods properly and never eating food from cans that are dented, bulging or leaking.

– With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press