Health advice has been issued after two children were treated for botulism in Scotland.
The pair, from the same family, are in stable condition in hospital after being admitted last Wednesday with botulism after eating a Loyd Grossman korma curry sauce.
Botulism, which is caused by toxins produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, is rare in the UK.
The condition attacks the nervous system and can affect people of any age but the infection is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person.
Symptoms of foodborne botulism typically begin between 12 and 36 hours after ingestion of contaminated food, but may appear in as little as six hours.
Dr John Cowden, consultant epidemiologist at Health Protection Scotland, said: “People can be reassured that botulism is rare in the UK.
"Symptoms to look out for are a combination of blurred vision, difficulty swallowing and difficulty speaking – symptoms which rapidly get worse. They are then followed by general muscle weakness.
"Any person, child or adult, with these symptoms should seek urgent medical advice. Antitoxins have proved very effective in treating the condition if treated early, although full recovery may take several months."
The last recorded case of botulism in Scotland was in May last year when a 15-week-old infant contracted it from consuming honey.
Prevent the spread
To prevent botulism, the health protection agency said care should be taken when storing and using foods.
Before using food, check if the packaging has blown, whether the lid has popped or the seal is broken. If so then do not use the food.
Follow the storage instructions on food labels, in particular if it states goods should be stored in the fridge then make sure it is kept at 5oC or below.
Foods that are stored at room temperature need to be kept in the fridge after they have been opened, while products should not be consumed after their use by date.
The agency’s advice is also to use opened foods within two days, unless the instructions state otherwise while people should follow any instructions on the label about how to heat or reheat produce.
Anyone who has consumed the Loyd Grossman sauce and is concerned about the botulism symptoms should seek urgent medical advice.
Outside of normal hours, they can call NHS 24 on 08454 242424.
For more information, visit Health Protection Scotland's frequently asked questions about botulism page.