Use Extreme Caution Before Consuming Castleberry's Food Products

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Castleberry's Food Products

Montana residents urged to check the recall list before consuming Castleberry's canned food products due to a pair of botulism cases linked to the products.

About 90 types of canned chili, beef stew, corned beef hash, dog food and other meat products have been recalled in the last week. The company's products are manufactured in Augusta, Ga.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact the company's consumer hotline at 888-203-8446. Media with questions about the recall should contact the company public affairs representative Della Sweetman at 619-200-0436 or Doug McGraw at 212-453-2202.

McGraw, a public relations representative for Castleberry's, confirmed the company distributes in all 50 states and Canada.

According to state commodity warehouse chief Forest Farris, DPHHS regularly distributes Castleberry's products through its Commodities Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and Federal Distribution Program to Indian Reservations (FDPIR). The warehouse is based in Helena.

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On Sunday, Farris received a Food Safety Alert from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to error on the side of caution with all Castleberry's food products.

"The USDA wants all (Castleberry's) products held and not used until further notice," he said. Currently, the warehouse has a couple pallets of Castleberry's Beef Stew and Bison Stew in stock.

Farris said all state FDPIR and CSFP agencies have been notified about the recall. No Emergency Food Assistance Programs (TEFAP) sites have received this product, he said.

All Montanans should also be just as vigilant, said state epidemiologist Todd Damrow. Exposure to botulism can be fatal, he said.

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.

Persons with signs or symptoms of botulism who have eaten any of the other recalled products are advised to immediately contact their health care provider.

Symptoms include new onset of double vision, 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, trunk, and legs.

Symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as early as six hours or as late as 10 days.

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