Health Department Warns Consumers of FDA Canned Food Recall

For Immediate Release: Jan. 23, 2008
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is warning consumers about a product recall of all canned green beans and garbanzo beans distributed by New Era Canning Company during the past five years, due to possible Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum) contamination.

The products were distributed nationwide. No one, to date, has been reported ill. The recall is the result of a routine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection.

“No botulism has as yet been found in the canned products,” said Cort Lohff, MD, state epidemiologist for the Vermont Department of Health, “however they were produced under conditions that could have led to contamination by Clostridium botulinum bacterium spores.”

The affected cans are large institutional-sized containers, weighing approximately six and a half pounds, according to the FDA. New Era Canning Company is based in Michigan.

Symptoms of botulism poisoning can begin from 6 hours to 2 weeks after eating food that contains the 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, and calves.

Anyone who has these symptoms and who may have recently eaten the products under recall or other food products made with them should seek immediate medical attention.

Consumers who have the affected products or who have used them in recipes should wrap the cans in a plastic bag and immediately throw the cans and food away.

For specific brands and codes of green beans and garbanzo beans that are subject to the recall, visit: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/newera.html.

Any food that may contain the recalled canned beans should be disposed of carefully. Even tiny amounts of the C. botulinum toxin can cause serious illness when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the eye or a break in the skin. Skin contact should be avoided as much as possible, and hands should be washed immediately after handling the food.

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