Sixty-one outbreaks of food-borne botulism involving a total of 122 cases, of which 21 were fatal, were recorded from 1971 to 1984 in Canada. Most occurred in northern Quebec, the Northwest Territories or British Columbia. Of the 122 victims 113 were native people, mostly Inuit. Most of the outbreaks (59%) were caused by raw, parboiled or "fermented" meats from marine mammals; fermented salmon eggs or fish accounted for 23% of the outbreaks. Three outbreaks were attributed to home-preserved foods, and one outbreak was attributed to a commercial product. The causative Clostridium botulinum type was determined in 58 of the outbreaks: the predominant type was E (in 52 outbreaks), followed by B (in 4) and A (in 2). Renewed educational efforts combined with a comprehensive immunization program would significantly improve the control of botulism in high-risk populations.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 1843.