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Yesterday, the FDA recalled cans of hot dog chili sauce under different brand names because they may be contaminated with a bacterium that causes botulism. The chili sauce was manufactured by Castleberry’s Food Company, located in Augusta Georgia. Four people have been hospitalized due to the chili sauce.

Now the company has recalled around 721,389 pounds of canned meat products that may contain the same bacteria. The recalled meat was processed on the same equipment as the hot dog chili sauce, and was produced around the same time.

According to a spokesperson for the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service, there is no evidence that the recalled meat products were associated with any illnesses, the recall is a precautionary measure.

The canned meat has production dates from April 30 to May 22, 2007 and includes, chili, corned beef hash, and barbecue pork in BBQ sauce. The meat was distributed in 24 different states.

The hot dog chili sauce and the meat products were produced at around the same time the Georgia plant had a production problem.

About two months ago, cans were coming out of a heating and sterilizing process too hot before going into a cooling canal. Company officials stopped production because they wanted to make sure cans had not expanded and possibly allowed contamination. A check of can contents by independent evaluators also found no problems.

The sauce was found to be the source of the outbreak after investigators tested the Indiana couple’s leftover food. All four people to eat the contaminated chili sauce became seriously ill and had to be put on ventilators.

Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which causes botulism, can be potentially fatal. Symptoms of botulism include blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness that moves down the body.

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

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