Toronto Woman Hospitalized with Botulism from Sardines in French Wine Bar
Severe Botulism Outbreak in Bordeaux Wine Bar
A Toronto woman has been hospitalized in France following a severe case of botulism, contracted from improperly preserved sardines at a wine bar in Bordeaux. The Tchin Tchin Wine Bar reportedly served these sardines between September 4 and 10. Botulism is a rare and potentially fatal illness caused by a toxin-producing bacteria, typically found in poorly canned or preserved foods. Symptoms can include drooping eyelids, blurred vision, respiratory failure, paralysis, and vomiting.
Over a Dozen Affected by the Outbreak
The affected Toronto woman, Jubilee Pridham, is among at least 15 people who contracted botulism at the restaurant. Notably, a 32-year-old woman from Paris died from the illness. Pridham, along with another victim, Gabby Chartier, face a lengthy recovery process. Both women and Chartier’s mother visited the wine bar on September 9, marking the start of their trip to France and Spain.
Pridham’s Condition and Path to Recovery
Pridham, a food and wine enthusiast, works as a general manager at the Toronto restaurant Piano Piano. The day after eating the sardines, she developed double vision and had difficulty breathing and swallowing. By day’s end, she had lost her ability to see, speak, and move. She was rushed to the hospital, where she remains. Her condition has shown slight improvements, but a full recovery is still distant.
Pridham did not receive the botulism antitoxin until 72 hours after exposure. Generally, patients treated within a 96-hour window of exposure have a better chance of full recovery. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Pridham’s medical bills and related expenses.
Manslaughter Complaint Filed Against Wine Bar
An involuntary manslaughter complaint has been filed against the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar. The owner of the bar reportedly discarded extra cans of sardines due to a bad smell and inadequate seal. While the restaurant remains open, French authorities have banned it from serving homemade products during the ongoing investigation.
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