California Health Officials Issue Urgent Warning on Shemshad Products Due to Botulism Risk

January 6, 2024 USA

public warning Shemshad products botulism

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued a stern warning to consumers, urging them not to consume Shemshad’s Mulberry Molasses and Mulberry Jam jarred food products. These items, produced without oversight from the health department’s Cannery Program, are at risk of contamination with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that produces botulism toxin. Ingesting this toxin from improperly processed jarred and canned foods can lead to severe illness and, in some cases, death.

The CDPH expresses concern that these products, with a notably long shelf life, may already be present in consumers’ homes. Shemshad, a Los Angeles-based company, has not yet initiated a voluntary recall of its Mulberry Molasses and Mulberry Jam products, both of which come in 16-ounce glass jars with screw-on metal lids and are dated “APR 25, 2025.”

The health department has issued a Notice of Violation to Shemshad, indicating that the company might face further actions, including license revocation. Despite the warning, the products have not been recalled voluntarily by Shemshad at this time.

The affected food items were sold at various grocery stores in southern California, including Woodland Hills Market in Woodland Hills, Q Market in Van Nuys, and Wholesome Choice Market in Irvine.

Consumers who observe these products being offered for sale are strongly encouraged to report the activity to the CDPH through the toll-free complaint line at 800-495-3232.

Botulism toxin is both odorless and colorless, making it impossible for consumers to detect contamination. Those in possession of these products or any foods made with them are advised to discard them immediately. The CDPH recommends double-bagging the jars in tightly closed plastic bags and disposing of them in a non-recyclable trash receptacle outside the home. If handling the products, consumers are advised to wear rubber or latex gloves or wash their hands thoroughly with soap and running water for at least two minutes.

Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. Initial symptoms may include double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, dry or sore throat, and can progress to symmetrical descending paralysis. The health department stresses that individuals experiencing any adverse effects after consuming these products should consult their healthcare providers promptly.



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