5 people hospitalized after eating gas station nacho cheese

Faith Castro
May 19, 2017

A bad story out of Sacramento: Five people, including a 33-year-old mother of three, have been hospitalized with botulism - poisoning from botulinum bacteria - after eating nacho cheese sauce from a gas station deli area several weeks ago.

Another three probable cases and one suspect case are also under investigation, reports The Sacramento Bee, with all patients still in the hospital.

Lavinia drizzled the Dorito's she bought at the gas station on April 21 with nacho cheese sauce from the deli area. Kelly's partner, Ricky Torres, tells the Daily Mail that Kelly was driving home from work on April 21 when she stopped at the station and made a decision to pour the cheese sauce over a bag of Doritos.

Botulism is an illness that can lead to paralysis, breathing difficulty and sometimes death.

Bruce Clark, an attorney at Seattle-based food safety law firm Marler Clark who is working on Kelly's case, said most botulism outbreaks are associated with home canning, with occurrences at a store extremely rare.

Symptoms of the illness include double vision, slurred speech, drooping eyelids and muscle weakness. Theresa Kelly recalled receiving the emergency phone call from her sister. "It's insane", said Dawn Kelly. "And she's saying, basically, she's saying 'Sister, I need you here now'".

"I've never seen my sister, um, not have function of her body or be able to communicate", Theresa said. The neurotoxins have left her unable to open her eyes or speak.

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Earlier this month, county health officials temporarily revoked the gas station's permit to sell food and drink.

The family of one of those confirmed cases is now suing the gas station, claiming negligence, product liability, and breach of implied warranty, the Bee reports.

'(The gas station) should have been more aware. They're handling that stuff every day. "If my mom had eaten there, I don't know if we would have lost both of them".

'Somebody needs to be accountable. "Somebody needs to pay attention to what the heck they're. what they're doing you know? And she was embracing life, and then all of it's shot down 'bam.' So, I don't know", said her mother Dawn Kelly.

Kelly's prognosis, according to the lawsuit, is uncertain.

"Only human mistakes create the environment for botulinum toxin to form".

The Valley Oak Food and Fuel is the gas station in Sacramento and Lavinia is not the first person to be diagnosed with botulism after eating food from there. "That's an essential question".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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