The same nacho cheese that left a woman paralyzed has now resulted in a man’s death. Health officials in California say one of 10 people hospitalized after eating nacho cheese containing the botulinum toxin at Valley Oak Food and Fuel in Walnut Grove has died, per NPR. Family members identify the victim as 37-year-old Martin Galindo from Antioch, per CBS San Francisco. They say the father of two had been hospitalized for weeks and was in a coma when he died of botulism Thursday. Several other victims of the outbreak, including 33-year-old Lavinia Kelly and two teenagers, remain hospitalized, reports the Sacramento Bee, though the California Department of Public Health doesn’t think there’s any continuing public risk.
Six victims are now pursuing legal action after a Sacramento County health inspector reported removing four bags of cheese sauce made by the Wisconsin-based Gehl Foods from the gas station on May 8, reports Food Safety News. Gehl Foods, however, denies any involvement in the outbreak. The company says it “retested samples from the relevant lot of cheese, and it remains clear of any contamination,” per the Bee. An independent lab “confirmed our findings,” the company adds. Gehl Foods’ website notes its bags of cheese sauce, with a shelf life of one year, can be safely consumed from a dispenser for five days if kept at a continuous temperature of 140 degrees. (A botulism outbreak struck Ohio in 2015.)