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Hot dog chili sauce canned in Augusta, Georgia has been linked to four cases of botulism in the U.S. The victims, the first to be infected with botulism related to a commercially canned food since the 1970s, are in Texas and Indiana. The tainted products are 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 recalled hot dog chili sauce is made by the Castleberry Food Co., which is owned by Bumble Bee Seafoods LLC, and was canned at the Castleberry plant in Augusta, Georgia.
As noted by the CDC,

Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease caused by a toxin made by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum.

Consumers with any recalled cans are urged to throw the cans away without opening them. Acording to Robert Brackett of the FDA,

the toxin is so potent if they get it on their hands or it sprays in their face, it could make them ill.

The FDA’s recall notice also notes that:

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, dry mouth, and muscle weakness that moves progressively down the body, affecting the shoulders first then descending to the upper arms, lower arms, thighs, calves, etc. Botulism poisoning can also cause paralysis of the breathing muscles which can result in death unless assistance with breathing (mechanical ventilation) is provided.

This is the second recall of contaminated food products made in Georgia this year. ConAgra recalled all peanut butter made at its Sylvester, Georgia plant in February due to Salmonella contamination.

The recall covers the following universal product codes:
–Castleberry’s Hot Dog Chili Sauce (UPC 3030000101);
–Austex Hot Dog Chili Sauce (UPC 3030099533);
–Kroger Hot Dog Chili Sauce (UPC 1111083942).

For more information on this subject matter, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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