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John Bisnar
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Botulism Outbreak Prompts Canned Food Recall

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This recall by Castleberry’s Food Co. of Augusta, Georgia is the second by the company in a week after their products were linked to four cases of botulism the first in commercially canned foods in years.

According to the Augusta Chronicle, Dave Melbourne, Castleberry’s senior vice president, stressed that all other foods under the Castleberry’s name are safe but the company decided to go ahead and recall 20,000 cases of potentially contaminated products.

A second recall in a week and the public is to believe that “all other foods under the Castleberry’s name are safe”? Not at my house. If we have ANY of their products they will be in the trash as soon as I finish this article.

Botulism isn’t something to be taken lightly, it can be fatal. According to the Center For Disease Control And Prevention, it can take 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food for botulism symptoms to show up. Initial symptoms of botulism include muscle weakness, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, blurred vision and double vision, according to the CDC’s website. Check out what else the Center For Disease Control And Prevention has say about botulism (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/botulism_g.htm).

If you have questions about the recall, call Castleberry’s at 1-888-203-8446.

According to the Associated Press, the brand names of the recalled products include Austex, Best Yet, Big Y, Black Rock, Bloom, Bryan, Bunker Hill, Castleberry’s, Cattle Drive, Firefighters, Food Club, Food Lion, Goldstar, Great Value, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, Morton House, Paramount, Piggly Wiggly, Prudence, Southern Home, Steak N Shake, Thrifty Maid, Triple Bar and Value Time. The recall also includes four varieties of Natural Balance dog food.

Luckily there are only about 100 reported botulism cases in the United States a year. I suspect that there a many more that either go reported or undiagnoised.

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