A 37-year-old father of two children, was identified as the first fatality in a botulism outbreak linked to nacho cheese sold at a Northern California gas station. The outbreak, which killed Martin Galindo-Larious Jr., is recorded in the hospital at least nine others, leaving a victim paralyzed, health officials said Monday.
“He was a great brother, a great father, and always great with the cousins, and children of his own,” Mario Galindo told KTVU of his older brother.
Galindo-Larious was taken off life support, May 18, and died hours later. His family, including two sons who are younger than 5, said he was stopped at Valley Oak Food and Fuel in Walnut Grove last month while commuting to and from work on a construction site in Sacramento.
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“That gas station was so kind of the middle between here and there,” Mario Galidno told KTVU. “So, I kind of figure he would stop by, have a few snacks on the way back and forth, tea, something to drink.”
Tests by government health officials confirmed the botulism toxin in the nacho cheese, which was manufactured by Gehl Foods of Wisconsin, and officials say that the product concerned is removed from the station 5 of May. Matt Conens, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health, declined to comment on the status of the gas station, or if the authorities were to investigate the plant that the dip arrived, KTVU reported.
Botulism poisoning can lead to paralysis, breathing problems and even death. The survivors, including victims of the latest outbreak, are forced to spend weeks or months on ventilators. Patients are treated with an anti-toxin by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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“That’s the scary thing about botulism — it is odorless and tasteless,” Bill Marler, a lawyer, six of the victims, told KTVU. “It is most likely that it happened in a fault in the conveyor belt at the cheese factory.”
Gehl Foods of Wisconsin CEO Eric Beringhause told KTVU in a statement that the company’s facilities are safe and the company is working with researchers to determine what the cause of the outbreak.