Health concerns after contaminated olives found

The brand of olives could be contaminated
The brand of olives could be contaminated

Working on intelligence supplied from the Food Standards Agency, Horsham District Council (HDC) is warning local retailers and the public about contaminated olives.

The ‘Olive Bella Di Cerignola’ variety of the fruit has been imported from Italy and was produced under the name of ‘Divini di Chicco Francesco’.

The Food Standards Agency has revealed that, in one case, a jar of the product tested positive to containing a toxin from the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, commonly known to cause botulism.

This powerful neurotoxin can cause severe illness in people and one person is currently recovering after eating olives from the jar tested.

The product may be available for sale in small independent delicatessens as well as local farmers and continental markets.

It has been reported that the olives could be presented in 580g glass jars with a screw top lid and a small plain printed label.

The batch known to be affected will display lot and best before dates of 161/11 and 10/06/2014 respectively.

Staff from the Council have been visiting local retailers to make them aware of what’s been happening and ensure that none of the contaminated products are available for sale in the Horsham District.

Sue Rogers, HDC’s Cabinet Member for a Safer and Healthier District, said: “Situations such as these are always worrying.

“What is important is how they are dealt with and how we act quickly and thoroughly to minimise risk, ensure the protection of consumers and restore confidence.”

As of August 2 2012, there have so far been no reports to Horsham District Council that there are contaminated olives on sale in the Horsham District.

Businesses and members of the public who are offered or are already in possession of the affected olives should not consume them.

They are advised to contact Horsham District Council’s Environmental Health and Licensing team immediately on 01403 215403 and