The city Health Department think they've traced the bad tofu to an Asian market in Flushing, where the two affected customers bought fresh, unrefrigerated bulk tofu. Fortunately, neither of the patients died of the illness:
"This kind of tofu -- commonly sold in an open, water-filled bin -- is highly suspected to be the source of these cases; however it has not yet been confirmed," the release states.Two things: 1) I love tofu, so this sucks. But this is not a tofu problem. 2) I just read up on botulism, and it sounds absolutely awful. That said, this could have been a lot worse. More here: Flushing diners unnerved by report of botulism in tofu.
Fresh, unrefrigerated tofu is used to make fermented tofu and is an ingredient in a popular Chinese dish called chou doufu, or stinky tofu. Anyone who has bought this variety of tofu is urged to throw it away, even if they cooked it, because the toxic spores can survive cooking.
A Health Department spokewoman said neither patient has died of the illness, but declined to comment on their condition. She also declined to name the Flushing store where the two bought the tofu.
"We're still investigating the origin and destinations of the tofu, and because of that we aren't disclosing the name of the store," she said.