FDA Botulism Report –
Castleberry’s Canned Chili
of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
On July 7, 2007, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) learned that two
siblings in Texas were critically ill with botulism and that their
illnesses were likely acquired by eating contaminated food. Four days later
on July 11, public health officials in Indiana reported to the CDC that a
married couple in Indiana were suspected of having foodborne botulism. On
July 17, CDC staff provided information regarding the production-dates and
times to the FDA. The evidence strongly suggested that brands of
Castleberry’s hot dog chili sauce were the common source of the four ill
persons with botulism. By August 24, eight cases of botulism had been
reported to the CDC. In addition to the Indiana couple, the mother of the
children in Texas had developed symptoms of botulism, which brought the
total number of Castleberry-associated cases in Texas to three. There were
also three unrelated residents of Ohio who had developed botulism consuming
Castleberry’s hot dog chili sauce in the week before symptom onsets.
Botulinum toxin was identified in leftover chili sauce collected from the
refrigerator belonging to one of the Ohio cases.
On July 18 and 19, a team
of federal investigators were sent to the firm’s warehouse. Samples of
Castleberry’s Austex and Castleberry’s brand Hot Dog Chili Sauce with the
“best by May 7, 2009” and “best by May 8, 2009” lot codes were collected
and sent to FDA laboratories for testing. FDA testing of sample 428113,
consisting of 17 swollen cans, found C. Botulinum toxin in 16 of the cans.
This sample included the same time-stamp and lot code from the May 8, 2007
production as the can found in the Indiana home. FDA testing of sample
420352, consisting of six swollen cans, found C. Botulinum in four cans.
FDA sample 420353 included one swollen can, and its contents tested
positive for C. Botulinum toxin.
conducted extensive tests on Castleberry equipment. The findings are
presented in an FDA report issued on August 10, 2007. Report