Canned food recall: Goods linked to botulism poisoning

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The Alabama Department of Public Health this week is advising the public to steer clear of recalled canned foods that have been linked to botulism poisoning.

Environmental health staffs at the county health departments are checking to ensure the contaminated products have been removed from Alabama store shelves.

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“Consumers should not purchase or eat any of the canned products included in the recall,” the ADPH said in a press-released statement.

Recalled products include chili sauce, stew, corned beef hash and sausage gravy from the following brands – Castleberry’s, Austex, Best Yet, Big Y, Black Rock, Bloom, Bryan, Bunker Hill, Cattle Drive, Firefighters, Food Club, Food Lion, Goldstar, Great Value, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, Morton House, Paramount, Piggly Wiggly, Prudence, Southern Homes, Steak ‘n’ Shake, Thrifty Maid, Triple Bar Ranch and Value Time.

Area grocers throughout Selma and Dallas County – Calhoun Foods, Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart and Valley Grande Market – have pulled the products from its shelves.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, consumers should not use these products even if they do not look or smell spoiled. Consumers with these products in their home pantries should dispose of them by double bagging in plastic bags that are tightly closed before being placed in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash outside the home.

Two people in Texas and two people in Indiana were hospitalized in serious condition with botulism poisoning after consuming Castleberry’s hot dog chili sauce. Botulism, a muscle-paralyzing disease, is caused by a toxin made by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum.

Symptoms include general weakness, dizziness, double-vision, trouble speaking or swallowing, difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation. The ADPH advises anyone who’s experiencing such symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

No new botulism cases have been reported since the recall was announced on July 18.

Castleberry’s has the highest number of recalled items on the list.

The Augusta, Ga.-based company is now working with the FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate the possible contamination of these products.