A French company, La Ruche, has recalled all Les Délices de Marie Claire preserves and has suspended operations after a production batch of its Tapenade verte aux amandes was linked to eight cases of botulism.

L’Institute Pasteur reported finding botulinum toxin type A in a sample of the implicated batch of olive-almond tapenade. 

Consumers in France, Belgium and Denmark are being advised to not eat Les Délices de Marie Claire brand Tapenade aux amandes, Lot no. 112005, with a best-before date of 16-12-2012.

Botulism is a rare but potentially life-threatening bacterial illness that is caused by the ingestion of a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Botulism poisoning is extremely rare, but is so dangerous that each diagnosed case is considered a public health emergency.

Symptoms of botulism generally appear 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food.  Those symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, dizziness, double vision, drooping eyelids, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, muscle weakness, and paralysis. With treatment, illness lasts from 1 to 10 days.  Full recovery from botulism poisoning can take weeks to months.  However, some people never fully recover.