Up to 25 people infected with rare botulism after eating at Bordeaux wine bar

Up To 25 People Infected With Rare Botulism After Eating At Bordeaux Wine Bar
An Irish man who ate at the bar in Bordeaux remains in a hospital intensive care unit. Photo: AFP via Getty
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Sarah Slater

French health authorities have confirmed that up to 25 people have been infected with rare botulism after eating sardines at a wine bar in Bordeaux, France.

An Irish man who ate at the bar has been hospitalised in Barcelona, Spain and remains in a hospital intensive care unit. The HSE has confirmed that a few Irish people are being treated for botulism symptoms.


The man’s family have appealed to the public to be aware of the symptoms of the botulism which include slurred speech, drooping eyelids, blurred vision and breathing difficulties.

Irish rugby fans were in the city for their opening match against Romania in the Rugby World Cup tournament at Stade de Bordeaux on Saturday. All of those who have become ill ate at the restaurant between September 4th and 10th.

All those affected ate contaminated homemade sardines at the popular Tchin Tchin Wine Bar, on Rue Emile Duployé Bordeaux.

Botulinum toxin is the result of a bacteria that is generally found in poorly prepared food. Botulism has an incubation period of up to several days.


French health authorities estimated that nearly 25 people consumed the infected sardines served as tapas, according to local media reports.

On Tuesday, in the Paris region, a 32-year-old died from the poisoning, with her 30-year-old companion in intensive care.

The majority of the other victims are being treated at the Bordeaux University Hospital, where seven are still in intensive care, five of whom have been placed on artificial respiration. Another is receiving ongoing care.

The nationalities understood to be affected are Irish, British, German, Canadian, American and French. Several British nationals affected are being treated in the UK.


French authorities have taken all the affected jars of sardines and have carried out additional analyses. These will be sent to the Institut Pasteur laboratory, with results expected on Friday.

The wine bar at the centre of the botulism has been closed and prohibited them from manufacturing new canned goods until further notice.

HSE issues advice to Irish fans in Bordeaux follow...
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They also required the owners to carry out a complete cleaning of the establishment as well as a thorough disinfection of his conservation equipment. French media report that the restaurant's manager admitted he had thrown away some sardines from a homemade batch that had a strong smell.

However, five days after the appearance of the first case, the priority remains to identify all potential consumers.

An international health alert was issued, which included the HSE and NHS in the UK, asking hospitals to watch out for patients who have recently visited Bordeaux and are presenting symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting or problems with vision and speech.

Military stocks of anti-toxins are also being brought to Bordeaux.

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