CDC Alert: Botulism Associated with Canned Chili Sauce

Public health officials in Indiana, Texas, and at CDC announced on July 18 they are investigating an outbreak of botulism associated with canned hot dog chili sauce manufactured by Castleberry's Food Company. Foodborne botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by consuming foods that contain botulinum toxin, a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

Due to possible contamination with botulinum toxin, CDC, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are advising persons not to eat certain canned food products manufactured by Castleberry's Food Company. These include certain Castleberry's brands as well as products distributed under other brand names. The recall includes some canned dog food.

A listing of the recalled products can be found at the following Web sites: www.castleberrys.com/news_productrecall.asp (for all products), www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html (for FDA-regulated products), and www.fsis.usda.gov/Fsis_Recalls/index.asp (for UDSA-regulated products).

As of July 21, 2007, four cases of botulism have been reported to CDC from Indiana (2 cases) and Texas (2 cases). Onset dates range from June 29 to July 9, 2007. All four persons were reported to have consumed Castleberry's brand Hot Dog Chili Sauce Original. Botulinum toxin was identified in leftover chili sauce from an unlabeled sealable bag collected from a patient's refrigerator.

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