Irish rugby fans hospitalised due to botulism outbreak in Bordeaux

By Fiona Frawley

September 14, 2023 at 9:39am


One Irish fan has been admitted to intensive care following the botulism outbreak, which has been linked to a popular wine bar in Bordeaux.

A number of people have been hospitalised and one person has died following a botulism outbreak in Bordeaux, with the HSE issuing a warning to Irish rugby fans visiting the city for the World Cup.

The outbreak has been linked to sardines served at Bordeaux wine bar Tchin Tchin last week. In a statement, the HSE has said a "small number" of Irish people have been affected, and has urged anyone who ate sardines at the restaurant to seek medical care.

In a statement shared by the Independent, a HSE spokesperson said:

"The HSE has been informed of an incident where people who ate sardines at the Tchin Tchin Wine Bar in Bordeaux have been diagnosed with botulism, unfortunately, a small number of Irish citizens have been affected and are receiving appropriate care in France.”

The Irish Embassy in Paris has said it is aware of the outbreak, and have advised Irish citizens who ate in Tchin Tchin Wine Bar between September 4th and 10th to consult a doctor if they are experiencing any symptoms.


Officers from the local department of public protection in Bordeaux have investigated the bar and took samples to test for toxins. As reported by The Irish Times, the wine bar has been asked by health officials to restrict its service to wine and food products which are not likely to present a risk of botulism.

The HSE has said of botulism:

“Botulism is caused by a botulinum toxin, which is a poison produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The bacterium is commonly found in the soil in the form of spores. Botulism produces a neurological condition affecting the nerves of the body. Symptoms often begin with blurred vision and difficulty in swallowing and speaking, but sometimes diarrhoea and vomiting can occur. The disease can lead to problems with vision, and paralysis. Most cases make a recovery, but the recovery period can be many months. The disease can be fatal in 5-10% of cases. Botulism is a notifiable disease in Ireland".

Symptoms include difficulty breathing or swallowing, slurred speech, blurry vision, vomiting and diarrhea.


Header image via Facebook / Tchin Tchin Wine Bar 


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