[Ansteorra] Hot dog chili sauce in botulism recall

Dan Henderson earlgerard at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 19 01:14:19 PDT 2007

Hot dog chili sauce in botulism recall
  By ANDREW BRIDGES, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 57 minutes ago
  WASHINGTON - Federal health officials warned consumers Wednesday to  throw away certain cans of hot dog chili sauce after the product was  linked to the first cases of botulism in commercially canned foods in  decades.
  Four people were hospitalized. The warning applies to 10-ounce cans of  Castleberry's, Austex and Kroger brands of hot dog chili sauce with  "best by" dates from April 30, 2009, through May 22, 2009, the Food and  Drug Administration said. It wasn't immediately clear how widely the  products were distributed.
  The contamination by the toxin is extremely rare for a commercially  canned product. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention medical  epidemiologist Dr. Michael Lynch said the last such U.S. case dates to  the 1970s. The roughly 25 cases reported each year typically involved  home-canned foods, Lynch said.
  The victims — two each in Texas and Indiana — were seriously ill but  expected to survive. The Texas cases involved children who are  siblings. The Indiana cases involved an adult couple. No other details  were available.
  The products were made by the Castleberry's Food Co., owned by Bumble Bee Seafoods LLC, based in San Diego.
  "We are taking the recall as a precautionary measure until we fully  understand the facts of these cases and determine the cause of any  contamination," Dave Melbourne, Castleberry senior vice president of  marketing, said in a statement.
  FDA has sent experts to the Castleberry's plant in Augusta, Ga., where  the products were canned, said Robert Brackett, director of the FDA's  Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The company is  voluntarily recalling all potentially contaminated product and is  cooperating with state and federal officials, Brackett added.
  Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease caused by a toxin made by a  bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, according to the CDC.
  Brackett urged consumers to discard any of the recalled cans without opening them.
  "The toxin is so potent if they get it on their hands or it sprays in their face, it could make them ill," he said.
  Typically, commercially canned foods are heated long enough and to high enough temperatures to kill the spores.
  "It's been a triumph of food safety that canning is safe. That's what makes this so unusual," Lynch said.
  Symptoms of botulism include double or blurred vision, drooping  eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth and muscle  weakness that moves down the body, according to the CDC.
  Eventually, paralysis can cause a person to stop breathing and die,  unless supported by a ventilator. Most victims eventually recover after  weeks to months of care.
  The recall covers the following universal product codes:
  _Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili Sauce, 10 oz can (UPC 3030000101)
  _Austex Hot Dog Chili Sauce, 10-ounce can (UPC 3030099533)
  _Kroger Hot Dog Chili Sauce, 10-ounce can (UPC 1111083942)
  _Morton House Corned Beef Hash, 15-ounce can (UPC 7526665830)
  _Cattle Drive Chili With Beans, 15-ounce can (UPC 3030001515)
  _Southern Home Corned Beef Hash, 15-ounce can (UPC 0788015360)
  _Meijer Corned Beef Hash, 15-ounce can (UPC 4125095229)
  _Castleberrys Chili With Beans, 15-ounce can (UPC 3030001015)
  _Castleberrys Barbecue Pork, 10-ounce can (UPC 3030000402)
  _Bunker Hill Chili No Beans, 10-ounce can (UPC 7526604112).
  Consumers with questions may call the company toll-free at 888-203-8446.
  On the Net:
  Castleberry's Food Co.: http://www.castleberrys.com/
  CDC botulism information: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/botulism/index.asp
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