Herbal tea distributed in Florida recalled due to botulism concerns

A Los Angeles-based maker of herbal tea suspected of causing botulism in L.A. has recalled its variety batches sold in seven states, including Florida.

U.S. Deer Antler Exports & Imports’ variety batches of herbal teas produced in Los Angeles from March 1 through April 30 “were not produced according to approved guideline, making them susceptible to contamination by Clostridium botulinum,” the FDA recall notice says.

Last week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a release that linked one confirmed and one suspected case of botulism to the herbal tea. The herbal teas, in cases of 40 120 ml pouches, were distributed to customers and acupuncturists in Florida, California, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

The Centers for Disease Control lists botulism’s symptoms as double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness.

“If untreated, these symptoms may progress to cause paralysis of the respiratory muscles, arms, legs and trunk,” the CDC says on its website. “In food-borne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as early as 6 hours or as late as 10 days.”

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal