Published Date: 2007-07-29 16:00:09
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Botulism, canned food, human, pet - USA (03)
Archive Number: 20070729.2433
BOTULISM, CANNED FOOD, HUMAN, PET - USA (03)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sat 28 Jul 2007
From: The Honolulu Advertiser [edited]
The recalled Castleberry's Food Co. products sold at Costco include:
Item No. 616312, Cattle Drive Chili with Beans (8-pack); Item No.
715400, Cattle Drive Chili No Beans (6-pack); Item No.44522, Cattle
Drive Chicken Chili (6-pack); and Item No. 32082, Cattle Drive Chili
with Beans (6-pack).
A complete list of recalled products can be found at Castleberry's Web site at
or call the company's hot line at 800-203-4412.
The Hawaii's Department of Health advises that the recalled products
should not be eaten, even if they don't look or smell spoiled.
Consumers who have any of these products should throw them away
immediately by double-bagging the cans in tightly closed plastic bags
and placing them in a trash receptacle outside the home.
Anyone who sees the recalled products on the shelves can report it to
the DOH Food and Safety Branch at 586-4725; on the Neighbor Islands,
call your District Health Office.
A Maui [one of the islands that make up the state of Hawaii] man's
illness after eating a can of Cattle Drive chili that was the subject
of a national recall is being investigated as a suspected case of
botulism. The man, 33, remains hospitalized today [28 Jul 2007] at
Maui Memorial Medical Center, where doctors are waiting to see
whether the toxin spreads to his lungs and causes breathing difficulty.
The man yesterday [27 Jul 2007] said he was "doing fine" but still
felt some numbness in his face, one of the symptoms of botulism, a
rare but serious illness caused by consuming foods tainted by
botulinum toxin. The toxin, produced by the bacterium _Clostridium
botulinum_, affects the nervous system and can cause paralysis and death.
"I feel like I just got done with the dentist," he said.
The cause of his illness has not been confirmed, said state
Department of Health spokeswoman Janice Okubo. Fluid samples taken
from the man have been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, and it will take days before the results are known, she said.
The man said he bought an 8-pack of Cattle Drive canned chili at
Costco in Kahului 3 weeks ago. That was before manufacturer
Castleberry's Food Co. of Augusta, Georgia and the federal Food and
Drug Administration announced a voluntary product recall on 18 Jul
2007 and an expanded recall last Saturday [21 Jul 2007] that included
88 canned meat products under various brand names and 4 varieties of
canned dog food under the Natural Balance Eatables brand.
The man said he had heard about the recall but didn't realize he had
bought one of the suspect brands of chili. "I heard something about
Castleberry but never connected it to Cattle Drive chili. I thought
it was a different company," he said.
Costco in Kahului referred calls about the case to its corporate
office in Kirkland, Washington, which could not be contacted
yesterday [27 Jul 2007] to comment.
Two children in Texas and an Indiana couple who ate Castleberry's
brand Hot Dog Chili Sauce Original became seriously ill and have been
hospitalized, and a California woman was diagnosed with botulism
after eating a can of Kroger Chili with Beans. The CDC said all the
recalled brands were canned in the same plant.
An average of 110 cases of botulism are reported in the United States
each year, the CDC said. Of those, 25 percent are foodborne, most
commonly as a result of eating contaminated home-canned foods.
Symptoms of botulism include double or blurred vision, drooping
eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing or muscle weakness. If
untreated, the illness may progress from head to toe, with paralysis
of the face, arms, breathing muscles, torso and legs. According to
the CDC, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a
contaminated food, but they can occur as early as 6 hours or as late
as 10 days.
The man said he is living in Hana, working with a small church
ministry, and had gone to Costco 3 weeks ago to stock up on canned
goods. He and his cousin, a 28-year-old man, ate some of the chili
last week and felt mildly ill with stomach upset, he said. They ate
more chili for dinner Monday [23 Jul 2007] night, and stored an open
can in the refrigerator overnight before eating it again Tuesday [24
Jul 2007] night. The man said he was told by health officials that
leaving an open can in the fridge may have allowed the bacteria to
spread. Four to 6 hours later, he fell violently ill but didn't think
he had anything worse than a common case of food poisoning, he said.
"It was miserable. I had a weird night of sleep. They said it's
different for everybody. The toxin chooses its own path," he said. "I
felt it all in my face. I had a weak and achy feeling when I woke up.
I thought I had been bitten by a spider or something."
The symptoms seemed to subside when he began moving around and going
about his daily business, but later, he experienced numbness in his
face and sought medical help Thursday [26 Jul 2007] at the Maui
Memorial emergency room. "It felt like I had Novocaine in my head,
and my eyes were drooping and fluttering," he said. His cousin, who
was not hospitalized, said he felt some slight numbness in his arm
but was affected to a lesser degree.
The respiratory failure and paralysis that occur with severe botulism
may require a patient to be on a ventilator for weeks, according to
the CDC. The paralysis can slowly improve after several weeks. If
diagnosed early, foodborne botulism can be treated with an antitoxin,
which blocks the action of toxin circulating in the blood and can
prevent patients from worsening, the CDC said.
ProMED-mail Rapporteur Brent Barrett
[The U.S. 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
Castleberry spokesman says that "the botulism occurred in the chili
sauce because the product was undercooked. ... The current tests only
indicate botulism toxin for the chili products, but because other
products were also canned using the same equipment, we expanded the
recall to include all brands that were canned on the same line."
From information in the Honolulu Advertiser news release, there are
now 5 confirmed cases of botulism due to consumption of products
manufactured by Castleberry's Food Co.: 2 in Texas, 2 in Indiana, and
one in California; see also
The diagnosis in the man from Maui who became ill after eating a can
of Castleberry's Cattle Drive chili described in the Honolulu
Advertiser news release is so far unconfirmed.
Botulism causes an acute, descending symmetrical motor neuropathy
that progresses from head to toes. If untreated, botulism produces
sequentially double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids,
paralysis of the face, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing,
difficulty breathing due to paralysis of breathing muscles, and
paralysis of arms, trunk and legs. Patients with botulism are usually
alert and have no fever. Although, the Maui man says his eyes were
drooping, sensory symptoms, such as numbness of the face described by
the Maui man and numbness of the arms described by his cousin who
also ate the chili, are unusual for botulism.
The most direct way to confirm the diagnosis is to demonstrate
botulinum toxin in the patient's serum or stool.
For a map of Hawaii see