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This past weekend the Castleberry Food Company expanded its voluntary recall of canned meat products after 16 cans of chili sauce tested positive for botulinum toxin, the toxin resulting in botulism. FDA officials said the cans showed signs of swelling, a telltale indicator of botulism contamination. People were advised to throw away more than 90 types of canned chili, beef stew, corned beef hash and other meat products including Natural Balance pet food. The products were sold under a multitude of brand names, including Kroger.

Botulism is a rare but sometimes fatal illness caused by consuming foods containing botulinum toxin, which can cause paralysis of the arms, breathing muscles and legs. Symptoms, such as blurred vision and slurred speech, generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. So far, four cases of botulism have been reported: two in Indiana and two in Texas. All four people consumed Hot Dog Chili Sauce Original, and Castleberry temporarily closed its plant in Augusta, Ga, where some of the tainted chili sauce was produced.

It was recommended that consumers place the products in sealed double plastic bags before putting them in trash bins.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.

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