Do you eat tinned meat? If you do, you need to read this article… now! A huge recall is underway, after some cases of botulism related to canned meat products.
Botulism is a rare illness with serious consequences. It’s caused by a toxin that’s released by bacteria called “Clostridium botulinum.” These bacteria usually reside in soil. But they sometimes make their way into food — which is when they become dangerous. The toxins from these bacteria can cause muscle paralysis in the human body. Even the muscles in the lungs can be affected, so you can imagine how serious this can become.
This latest contamination came to light when several people in the U.S. were diagnosed with botulism. There have been two people in Indiana and two in Texas. All are currently still seriously ill. The botulism was traced back to products made by Castleberry’s Food Company. This company is based in Augusta, Georgia.
Originally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people not to eat some specific brand of chili sauce with certain “best by” dates. These were 10-ounce cans of “Castleberry’s Hot Dog Chili Sauce,” “Austex Hot Dog Chili Sauce,” and “Kroger Hot Dog Chili Sauce.” The “best by” dates were those ranging from April 30, 2009 through May 22, 2009.
In an updated warning, the FDA added some more items to the list. These are 10-ounce cans of: — “Austex Onion Hot Dog Chili Sauce” — “Castleberry’s Onion Hot Dog Chili Sauce” — “Castleberry’s Bunker Hill Hot Dog Chili Sauce” — “Meijer Hot Dog Chili Sauce” — “Food Lion Hot Dog Chili Sauce” — “Bloom Hot Dog Chili Sauce” — “Thrifty Maid Hot Dog Chili Sauce.”
There are also some dog food products on the list. These are 15-ounce tins of: — “Irish Stew with Beef Dog Food” — “Chinese Take Out with Sauce with Vegetables and Chicken Dog Food” — “Southern Style Dumplings with Gravy with Chicken and Vegetables Dog Food” — “HOBO Chili with Chicken & Pasta Dog Food.”
Castleberry’s has issued a voluntary recall on all of these products. The known cases of illness are only linked to the first warning. However, some FDA testing and inspections prompted the second warning. It is believed that processing malfunctions are behind the contamination. Castleberry’s has decided to recall even more products to be on the safe side.
Every year, there are approximately 110 cases of botulism reported in the U.S. Out of these, only 25% are caused by contaminated food. The rest are found in people with infected wounds and in infants. The symptoms are, of course, associated with the paralysis of muscles in different body parts. Some signs are overall muscle weakness, sudden vision problems, droopy eyelids, dry mouth, and difficulty speaking or swallowing. If you have any of these symptoms and believe that you might have eaten a contaminated food product, seek emergency medical attention right away. Symptoms can occur between six hours and two weeks after eating contaminated food.