Warning to Brits who dined at popular French restaurant after woman dies during botulism outbreak

12 others are ill in hospital, amongst them British and Irish nationals

Lydia Patrick
Thursday 14 September 2023 14:40 BST
<p>The diners have developed the rare but severe food poisoning botulism from eating poorly stored sardines</p>

The diners have developed the rare but severe food poisoning botulism from eating poorly stored sardines

A woman has died and others are in hospital after an outbreak linked to sardines from a wine bar in Bordeaux.

The restaurant-goers who ate the preserved fish are suffering from botulism- a rare but severe neurological illness brought on by food that hasn’t been stored and preserved properly.

The woman who died was a 32-year-old from Paris, and the others who have taken ill are believed to be visitors from the US, Ireland, Canada, Germany and Spain.

The French national health service, Santé Publique France, confirmed yesterday several cases of the illness linked to Tchin Tchin wine bar.

They are urging anyone who ate at the eatery between Monday 4 and Sunday 10 September to watch out for any symptoms of the illness and seek emergency medical care if they start to feel under the weather.

The UK Health Security Agency shared advice on Twitter on what to do if you ate in the restaurant and the Irish Embassy advised citizens to consult a doctor if they had eaten in the restaurant.

Symptoms of the illness include: blurred or double vision,  feeling sick, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhoea or constipation.

The French Health directorate says the restaurant had preserved the sardines themselves.

Foodborne botulism is a rare illness from eating foods contaminated with botulinum toxin - homemade foods that have been improperly canned, preserved, or fermented are common sources.

The woman who fell ill had been seen by several medical professionals before getting a diagnosis of boutulism as she presented an ‘unusual case’, according to reports in local paper Sudouest France.

Her partner who had also eaten the sardines was admitted to intensive care, according to Sudouest France.

According to reports in France 24 the restaurant owner had thrown out some of the sardine jars due to a ‘strong smell’.

Dr Benjamin Clozeau, a doctor at the Pellegrin hospital revealed a German national and a Barcelona resident had travelled home to receive treatment for the disease, reported the BBC.

Local authorities are awaiting official lab confirmation that boutulism was the source of their sickness.

Symptoms of Botulism

drooping eyelids

feeling sick


stomach cramps



blurred or double vision

facial muscle weakness

difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)

slurred speech

breathing difficulties

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