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Botulism Recall Widened

Food Company Recalls More Than 90 Canned Products for People and Pets
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

July 23, 2007 -- Botulism risk has spurred the FDA and Castleberry's Food Co. to widen Castleberry's canned goods recall.

The recall now includes more than 80 canned goods for people and four products for pets. All of those products are made by Castleberry's Food Co., but they bear various brand names.

The FDA and Castleberry's first announced a botulism-related recall on July 18 after four people -- two in Texas and two in Indiana -- became seriously ill and were hospitalized with botulism poisoning after eating Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili Sauce.

As of yesterday, no new human cases of botulism poisoning associated with Castleberry's products had been reported to the CDC. Castleberry's is widening the recall as a precaution.

Earlier, the recall only included products with certain "Best By" dates printed on the cans. But now, the recall includes all of the products listed by Castleberry's, regardless of "Best By" date.

Botulism is a severe form of food poisoning, often fatal if not treated quickly. Botulism is caused by bacterium that produces a toxin, and it is sometimes present in improperly canned or preserved foods. The four recent cases of botulism poisoning were the first in decades that were associated with commercial canned goods.

Botulism Risk: Consumer Advice

People with any of the recalled products or foods made from those products should throw them away immediately, even if the products don't look or smell spoiled. A full list of recalled products appears at the end of this article

The FDA recommends double bagging the cans in plastic bags, closing the bags tightly, and putting the bags in a trash can for nonrecyclable trash outside the home. Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least two minutes afterward.

Castleberry's Food Company is located in Augusta, Ga. Its products were in the U.S. and Canada.

For more information, including details about product refunds, contact Castleberry's consumer information hotline at (888) 203-8446 or (800) 203-4412.

Botulism Poisoning Symptoms in People

Symptoms of botulism poisoning in humans can begin from six hours to 10 days after eating food that contains the botulism toxin.

Symptoms may include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness that moves progressively down the body, affecting the shoulders first then descending to the upper arms, lower arms, thighs, calves, etc.

Botulism poisoning can also paralyze the breathing muscles, which can be fatal unless assistance with breathing (mechanical ventilation) is provided.

People who show these symptoms and who may have recently eaten one of the recalled products should seek immediate medical attention.

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