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Suspected Botulism Cases May Have Come From Tofu Bought For ‘Stinky Tofu’ Dish

(credit: PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — The city Health Department has confirmed one case and suspects a second case of botulism. The botulism is believed to have come from tofu bought at a store in Flushing.

A statement released by the Health Department said that “this kind of tofu — commonly sold in an open, water-filled bin — is highly suspected to be the source of these cases; however it has not yet been confirmed.”

The afflicted customers are both Chinese-speaking residents of Queens.

The Health Department has urged anybody who has bought this tofu to throw it away. The product is often used in a dish called chou doufu or ‘stinky tofu’, and the toxic spores that cause botulism have been known to survive cooking.

Botulism impairs the nervous system and is accompanied by symptoms like blurred vision, paralysis, poor reflexes, and difficulty with normal bodily functions.

Symptoms usually arrive within 12 to 36 hours, the Health Department said that anybody who has eaten fermented tofu or experienced any symptoms should contact a doctor immediately.

A health department spokeswoman said that neither patient has died and that an investigation into the origin of the tofu is ongoing.

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