Native Salad From Cama-i Preliminarily Tests Positive For Botulism

Mar 24, 2018

Credit Courtesy of the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Throw away any leftover Native Salad that you bought from the Cama-i Dance Festival. 

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation reports that a sample of the salad containing whale and whale oil has preliminarily tested positive for botulism. It will take at least a week for the Alaska State Public Health Lab to release confirmation.

There has been one case of botulism in an adult who ate the salad. A press release from YKHC explains that the bacterial toxin may not be evenly distributed throughout food, which could be why only one person has reported feeling ill.

Botulism is usually found in fermented or canned foods that were incorrectly stored or prepared. The bacteria that release the toxin grows in environments without oxygen or in warm temperatures.

Botulism can be deadly if left untreated. Symptoms include dry mouth, blurred or double vision, difficulty swallowing, drooping eyelids, dilated pupils, voice changes, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Symptoms usually appear one to three days after eating food containing the toxin.

People experiencing these symptoms should go to the emergency room or call their local health clinic.