Health Department Issues Food Recall Advisory

For Immediate Release: July 27, 2007
Media Contact: Communication Office
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is advising food retailers and consumers to check for canned products made by the Castleberry Food Company that are suspected to have caused four cases of botulism poisoning in Texas and Indiana.

“Distribution of the products appears to be wider than originally thought,” said Beth Cheng Tolmie, food and lodging programs chief for the Vermont Department of Health. “We are finding the product in establishments where we had originally been told it was not carried.”

The Health Department is advising consumers to check for canned products manufactured by the Castleberry Food Company of Augusta, GA that are part of a national U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning.

A full list of the recalled products is posted on the US Food and Drug Administration website at: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/castleberry.html#recall

No illnesses related to the canned products have been reported in Vermont. Foodborne botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by consuming foods that contain botulinum toxin, a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

Symptoms of botulism may include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. Anyone who has eaten these products and is experiencing symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

Recalled canned products include chili with and without beans, beef stew, corned beef hash, hot dog chili sauce, Brunswick stew, barbecue pork in barbecue sauce and dog food. The canned meat products bear the establishment number “EST. 195” inside the USDA seal of inspection. An updated list of all brand names and sizes of meat and meatless products subject to the recall, including dog food, is available at the web site above.

The Vermont Department of Health is working with the FDA and Vermont grocers and food retail stores statewide to remove any of the products from store shelves.

An additional concern reported by the FDA today is that cans may swell and explode. Anyone who discovers the cans should dispose of them by placing them in a sealable bag, wrapping another plastic bag around the sealable bag, and taping tightly. Place the bags in a trash receptacle outside the home and out of reach of children and pets. Do not store the cans or return the products to the manufacturer.

For more information visit: www.cdc.gov/botulism/botulism_faq.htm

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