Advice line: 1890 33 66 77

Botulism Warning Regarding a Batch of Preserved Italian Olives

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Category 1:

For Action

Alert Notification:



Olive Bella di Cerignola, 580 g , produced by I Divini di Chicco Francesco

Batch Code:

Lot 161/11,   best before 10/06/2014

Country Of Origin:



One person in the UK is recovering in hospital from botulism having consumed olives from a jar that tested positive for Clostridium botulinum type B toxin. The Food Standards Agency in the UK is investigating where the product may have been sold. At this stage, there is no known distribution of this product to Ireland. The product is most likely to be sold via specialist delicatessens. The variety of the implicated large olives is “Bella di Cerignola”. The brand name “I Divini di Chicco Francesco” is the only brand implicated in this incident. The images below are from the implicated jar, when sold it may have had a decorative cover on the lid.

Nature Of Danger:

Botulism is rare but can be fatal. Symptoms include blurred vision, difficulty swallowing and speaking – symptoms that rapidly get worse. They are then followed by general muscle weakness. Symptoms of foodborne botulism usually begin between 12 and 36 hours after ingestion of contaminated food, but may appear in as little as 6 hours.
Anti-toxins are very effective in treating the condition if given early, although full recovery may take several months. Anyone who has consumed this product and is concerned about the symptoms above should seek urgent medical advice.

Action Required:


EHOs /official agencies are requested, as part of routine inspections, to check retail outlets, particularly Italian delicatessens and food market stalls, to determine if this brand of olives is, or has been on sale. Implicated batches should be recalled from consumers. Non-implicated batches of olives of the same brand should be removed from sale pending an investigation at the manufacturer by the Italian authorities. Please notify FSAI ( of any known sales of I Divini di Chicco Francesco olives.

Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, caterers & retailers:

Food businesses are requested to check if they have received I Divini di Chicco Francesco products. The implicated batch of olives must be removed from sale and a point of sale notice must be clearly displayed informing customers not to eat the olives. Other batches of olives of this brand should be removed from sale, pending further advice. Please inform your local environmental health officer if you have sold this brand of olives since 2011.


People who may have bought I Divini di Chicco Francesco olives are advised not to consume them and to contact their local environmental health office or the Food Safety Authority Advice Line on 1890 33 66 77.  Consumers who may have already consumed the olives and are feeling unwell should seek urgent medical advice.

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