The Castleberry’s Food Co. of Augusta, Georgia recalled over 80 types of canned meat products that may have started a recent botulism outbreak. This is an expansion from the 10 brands that were recalled last Thursday. The different meats being recalled include chili, beef stew, and corned beef hash among others. The recall comes after canned chili was found in the homes of two families that were hospitalized with botulism.

The brand names of the potentially tainted products include include Austex, Best Yet, Big Y, Black Rock, Bloom, Bryan, Bunker Hill, Castleberry’s, Cattle Drive, Firefighters, Food Club, Food Lion, Goldstar, Great Value, Kroger, Lowes, Meijer, Morton House, Paramount, Piggly Wiggly, Prudence, Southern Home, Steak N Shake, Thrifty Maid, Triple Bar and Value Time. Also included are four varieties of Natural Balance dog food. Castelberrys is owned by Bumbele Bee Seafoods which is based in San Diego. The company voluntarily expanded the recall.

Botulism is a muscle-paralyzing disease. When gotten through food, it derives from bacteria found in soil, making the food grown in the soil toxic. There are seven types of botulism which are each given letters A through G. Only four can cause illness in humans. About 110 cases of botulism are reported each year. About 25 percent comes from the ingestion of toxic foods.

Symptoms of botulism can begin from six hours to 10 days after ingestion. However, the average length of time is 18 to 36 hours. The symptoms include include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. When infants are infected, they appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated, and have a weak cry and poor muscle tone. If untreated, these symptoms may eventually cause paralysis of the arms, legs, trunk and respiratory muscles. Those who die of botulism often die of respiratory failure. However, in recent years, the death rate from this illness has decreased from 50 percent to 8 percent.

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