Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today announced that a 51-year-old San Diego County woman has a confirmed case of botulism, a rare illness.
The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency and CDPH are investigating whether the woman’s illness is associated with Castleberry Food canned products that were recently recalled due to possible contamination with the toxin that causes botulism. The woman reported purchasing and eating one of the products, Kroger Chili with Beans, prior to her illness in early July. She was hospitalized and is now recovering at home.
“The confirmed case of botulism poisoning in San Diego reminds us of the serious health risk posed by this toxin,” Horton said. “Californians should remain vigilant about not consuming the recalled products. If you have the recalled product, discard it immediately.”
Certain lots of Kroger Chili with Beans, in addition to a number of canned products under different brand names, were voluntarily recalled by Castleberry Food Co. of Augusta, Ga., last week. The recall followed reports of four illnesses of botulism in two states associated with the consumption of Castleberry Hot Dog Chili Sauce. The Kroger Chili with Beans product consumed by the San Diego County woman was thrown away before tests could be performed to determine if it was the definitive cause of the botulism.
Castleberry has recalled all products identified below, regardless of their “Best if Used by Date.” The products are included in the recall because they may pose a risk. Recalled product was distributed to California club stores, drug stores, grocery markets, military base commissaries and discount retailers.
The recalled products are listed here: Castleberry Recall List
Symptoms of botulism poisoning can begin from six hours to two weeks after eating food that contains the toxin. Symptoms may include 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. Individuals who show these symptoms and who may have recently eaten the recalled products should seek immediate medical attention.
Consumers who purchased any of the recalled products should discard the contents or return them to the place of purchase. Consumers with additional questions should contact the company at 212-453-2202.