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July 21, 2007

Media Inquiries:
Kimberly Rawlings and Michael Herndon, 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries:

FDA Expands Its Nationwide Warning About the Risk of Botulism Poisoning From Certain Castleberry's Food Products and Dog Food

This press release translated:
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This press release was revised on July 23, 2007, to update the "best by" dates in the fourth paragraph. 
This press release was revised on July 26, 2007 to update disposal instructions in the seventh paragraph.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expanding its July 18 warning to consumers. This expansion is for consumers and pet owners regarding canned food products and dog food produced by Castleberry's Food Company of Augusta, Ga., due to the risk of botulinum toxin. Castleberry's is expanding the recall to include all of the following canned products with all "best by" and code dates, and FDA is warning consumers not to purchase or eat any of the canned products listed in the table below.

Hot Dog Chili SaucesSIZEUPC CODES
Castleberry's Austex Onion Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ30300-97101
Castleberry's Austex Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ30300-99533
Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ30300-00101
Castleberry's Onion Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ30300-07101
Castleberry's Bunker Hill Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ75266-04152
Kroger Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ11110-83942
Meijer Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ41250-85862
Food Lion Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ35826-06911
Bloom Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ25439-92448
Thrifty Maid Hot Dog Chili Sauce10 OZ21140-21367
Natural Balance Eatables dog food varieties:
Irish Stew with Beef Dog Food15 OZ23633-59860
Chinese Take Out with Sauce with Vegetables and Chicken Dog Food15 OZ23633-59861
Southern Style Dumplings with Gravy with Chicken and Vegetables Dog Food15 OZ23633-59862
Hobo Chili with Chicken Pasta Dog Food15 OZ23633-59863

The agency is expanding its warning based in part on FDA test results and information obtained during a joint FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection of the Castleberry’s facility in Augusta, Ga.

Exposure to botulinum toxin can be fatal and two people in Texas and two people in Indiana remain seriously ill and hospitalized with botulism poisoning associated with eating Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili Sauce.

While the previous recall and the known illnesses are linked to "best by" dates of April 30 to May 22, 2009, the firm has extended the recall to include all products listed irrespective of "best by" date. The firm is cooperating with FDA in the recall of these products and has ceased processing and distribution.

In addition, Castleberry's is recalling other products containing meat, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA is also warning the public not to eat certain brands of Castleberry's products containing meat. The list of these USDA-regulated products can be viewed at this link to the USDA website: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_033_2007_expanded/index.asp

Consumers who have any of these products or any foods made with these products should throw them away immediately. Double bag the cans in plastic bags that are tightly closed then place in a trash receptacle for non-recyclable trash outside of the home. Additional instructions for safe disposal can be found at www.cdc.gov/botulism/botulism_faq.htm.

Retailers that have any of these products are asked to assure that they are removed from use and do not accidentally get reintroduced for sale, service or donation. Do not puncture cans or open them in any way for disposal as this will create a potential health hazard. (More information for retailers and foodservice establishments.)

Symptoms of botulism poisoning in humans 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, 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 one of the Castleberry’s products currently under recall should seek immediate medical attention.

The disease has only been seen occasionally in dogs. Ferrets are highly susceptible to botulinum toxin. The incubation period can be 2 hours to 2 weeks; in most cases, the symptoms appear after 12 to 24 hours. Botulism is characterized by progressive motor paralysis. Typical clinical signs may include muscle paralysis, difficulty breathing, chewing and swallowing, visual disturbances and generalized weakness may also occur. Death usually results from paralysis of the respiratory or cardiac muscles. Pet owners who have used these products and whose pets have these symptoms should contact their veterinarian immediately. At this time we are not aware of pet illnesses associated with these products although we recommend that all these products should be discarded.

Castleberry's recommends consumers with any questions or concerns about this recall should go to Castleberry’s website (www.castleberrys.com) or call Castleberry’s consumer hotline at 1-800-203-4412 or 1-888-203-8446.

Consumers with questions can call FDA at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.


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