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U.S. warns consumers to heed canned meat recall

July 24, 2007|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The government urged consumers and retailers Monday to rid their shelves of more than 90 different products, including chili sauce, corned beef hash and dog food, produced at a plant linked to a botulism outbreak.

Castleberry's Food Co. of San Diego closed the plant, in Augusta, Ga.

"You're talking tens of millions of cans that may have been involved," said Robert Brackett of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

The company has hired an outside firm to visit 8,500 retailers in an effort to get recalled products off shelves quickly.

Four cases of botulism have been reported -- two in Indiana and two in Texas. All four people ate Hot Dog Chili Sauce Original, a Castleberry's product.

On Saturday, Castleberry's expanded its voluntary recall of canned meat products that it had initiated Thursday. Among the items are some varieties of Natural Balance dog food.

A full list of the recalled items is available at castleberrys.com/news_productrecall.asp.

The plant is expected to be closed for about a week, a Castleberry's executive said.

Botulism is a serious illness caused by the botulinum toxin, a nerve poison.

Castleberry's is a unit of Connors Bros. Income Fund of Canada, which also owns San Diego-based Bumble Bee Foods.

Consumers with questions about the recall may contact Castleberry's at (888) 203-8446.

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