Feds: Old potato behind Utah prison-brew botulism

October 9, 2012

(AP)—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a weeks-old baked potato was the source of a botulism outbreak at a Utah prison where inmates consumed cell-brewed alcohol.

The outbreak sickened eight maximum-security inmates at the state prison in Salt Lake County on October 2011.

The CDS said in a report last week that the inmates made several batches of cell brew with fruit, water and sugar, but only one contained a potato believed to have made inmates sick.

Botulism is a rare but serious illness that can cause paralysis, even death. Symptoms include double vision, difficulty swallowing and .

The outbreak was the second largest in the country since 2006. Ten people were sickened in a 2007 outbreak linked to widely distributed hot dog chili sauce.

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