March 30th 2014
The following background information of botulism in Italy was abstracted from Gideon www.GideonOnline.com and the Gideon e-book series. [1,2] (primary references are available on request).
Botulism has been a notifiable disease in Italy since 1975. Mean disease rates are similar to those reported in the United States – see graph  :
Vegetable preserves are implicated in 57% of cases, and ham and sausage in 15%. Recent outbreaks have been related to mushrooms in oil, pickled olives, fresh-cheese mascarpone and roasted eggplant in oil.
In 2012, a man in England acquired botulism from imported Italian olives.
Three cases of wound botulism were reported during 1988 to 1998; and the first report of wound botulism in an injecting drug user was published in 2010.
26 cases of infant botulism (and 3 of adult intestinal botulism) were reported during 1984 to 2006 (including 6 cases due to Clostridium butyricum toxin). Type A botulism accounted for 4 casers and type B for 17.
Only two outbreaks (5 cases, 1 fatal) of botulism were reported in Italy during 1903 to 1922. Five outbreaks were reported in 1998 alone.
1993 – Outbreaks (7 cases, in two outbreaks) of botulism were associated with commercially prepared roasted eggplant in oil.
1995 (publication year) – An outbreak was associated with consumption of home-cured ham.
1996 – An outbreak (8 cases) was ascribed to “tiramisu” which contained contaminated mascarpone cream cheese.
2004 – An outbreak (25 cases, 0 fatal) was caused by green olives served by a restaurant in Molise.
2011 – An outbreak (3 cases, 1 fatal) of botulism in Finland was caused by imported jarred olives from Italy.
1. Berger SA. Infectious Diseases of Italy, 2014. 544 pages, 114 graphs, 3390 references. Gideon e-books, http://www.gideononline.com/ebooks/country/infectious-diseases-of-italy/
2. Berger SA. Botulism: Global Status, 2014. 86 pages, 90 graphs, 704 references. Gideon e-books, http://www.gideononline.com/ebooks/disease/botulism-global-status/
3. Gideon graph tool – http://www.gideononline.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/Gideon-Graphs.pps
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