British and Irish tourists being treated over Bordeaux 'botulism'

The UK’s health agency advises anyone who ate at the popular tourist bar to urgently contact their local emergency health services

Those who are sick all ate sardines from the restaurant
Published Last updated

Three Britons are among those receiving treatment following the recent suspected botulism outbreak at a Bordeaux wine bar, the UK Health Standard Agency (UKHSA) has confirmed to The Connexion.

The agency said the French authorities believe more British tourists could be affected after checking the credit card information of clientele who ate at the ‘Tchin Tchin’ bar’s restaurant between September 4 and 10.

Sardines, tinned by the restaurant owner, are believed to be responsible for the outbreak which has left one woman dead and another eight hospitalised in France alone.

Contacted by The Connexion, the UKHSA confirmed that three British nationals who had eaten at the restaurant were being treated back in the UK.

The UKHSA recommends anybody who ate at the bar to “contact [their] local Emergency department urgently and let them know that [they] have recently visited a restaurant with a botulism outbreak.”

The Irish Health Safety Executive (HSE) also stated that a “small number” of Irish nationals are being treated in France after eating at the bar, and one Spanish woman is in hospital in Barcelona after eating there.

Ireland played a Rugby World Cup game in the city against Romania on Saturday September 8 and authorities believe a number of travelling fans could have visited the bar.

A high proportion of those suspected to have been infected are foreign tourists, including German, American, and Canadians, which has made it difficult for the authorities to fully trace the outbreak, as many have now left France.

No further updates have been given from French officials regarding the people hospitalised from the outbreak, but the public prosecutor of Bordeaux said it has opened a preliminary investigation into "manslaughter" regarding the death of the 32-year old woman.

A number of tourists could be infected

The UKHSA released the statement yesterday afternoon, which included information passed on by Dr Gauri Godbole, a Consultant Medical Microbiologist.

“The French authorities have notified us of a further small number of people they have been unable to trace who they believe are from the UK, based on their credit card details,” it said.

“If you ate at Tchin Tchin Wine Bar in Bordeaux, France, between September 4 and 10, please contact your local emergency department urgently,” it continues.

The advice is to contact health services regardless of whether you are showing symptoms of the illness or not.

“Botulism does not spread from person to person and there is no risk to the general population,” it adds, meaning there is no chance of the infection spreading in the UK.

The Irish HSE is also advising people who feel unwell after eating at the bar to seek immediate medical help – “this advice only applies to those who ate sardines at the premises,” it said in a press statement.

Read more:

Tracing Bordeaux 'botulism' cases difficult as tourists affected