Spanish food group Grupo Empresarial Palacios Alimentación has removed its potato omelettes from shelves and halted production at one of its factories amid botulism cases in Spain.
Palacios has temporarily stopped output at its site in Mudrián, north west of Madrid.
“It has not been possible to establish evidence, neither in the products nor in the processes, that relate cause and effect,” Palacios said in a statement. It described the moves as a “precaution”.
A statement issued today by the Agencia Española de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (Aesan), Spain’s food safety regulator, confirmed the recall and pause in production.
Aesan said seven cases of botulism had been linked to eating potato omelette in the days prior to the onset of symptoms. The consumption occurred between 19 June and 5 July. There have been no fatalities, it added.
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In its recall, Palacios says consumers who have bought one of the potato omelettes to return them to where they where purchased and shoppers will be refunded.
The World Health Organization describes “foodborne botulism” as a “serious, potentially fatal disease”. The condition impedes the function of the nervous system and can lead to respiratory and muscular paralysis.
Palacios said its “facilities have been inspected four times by the health authorities with favourable results”.
The company’s portfolio includes ready meals, burgers, tortillas, fresh pizzas and sausages, sold under brands such as Embutidos Palacios, Floristan and San Martin. It has five production plants in Spain, one in the US and one in the UK.
The company exports to 30 countries including 15 in Europe, the US, Mexico, the UAE and China.
Just Food contacted Palacios to ask if the products were shipped outside of Spain but had not received a reply at the time of writing.
In 2019, local investor MCH Private Equity and France’s Ardian Co-Investment acquired a majority stake in the business for an undisclosed sum.
The Carlyle Group had held a majority stake in Palacios for four years.