Castleberry drastically expands food recall

By: Lynnsey Gardner Email
By: Lynnsey Gardner Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, July 22, 2007

NORTH AUGUSTA, SC-- It started with several types of canned chili, but now a recall on food made by Augusta's Castleberry Food Company is expanding drastically, by almost 800 percent.

Castleberry's voluntary recall just went from 10 products to 90; including everything from chili, to beef stew, even dog food.

Health officials say the food was likely undercooked causing a big risk of botulism, and now those same officials say the contaminant problem may have gone on longer then first thought.

"We are spending quite a bit of time around the clock trying to get the message out all consumers should pull these products and destroy the products." says the company's Senior VP, David Melbourne.

The new list released Saturday night includes 25 different brands of canned meat products such as chili, barbecue beef, and beef stew.

You can also add to that four types of canned dog food.

It's a recall that's unnerving for John Jackson who used to work at the plant. "I was very much surprised because i eat a lot of that myself."

Food safety officials say an equipment malfunction at the Augusta based Castleberry plant may be responsible for the contamination.

Four people, a couple from Indiana and two children in Texas were hospitalized with the muscle paralyzing disease Botulism after eating chili sauce from the plant.

The company says the malfunction occurred on only one line of production, but as food safety officials continued their investigation at the plant, they found evidence suggesting the malfunction went unchecked longer than first thought.

"We felt it was a prudent step to include any item that may have been included on that line of production." adds Melbourne.

"These food companies need to protect their food more, make sure their cans are clean." states Jackson.

The plant is now closed until further notice as the CDC, the FDA and the USDA continue their investigation.

In the meantime, all contaminated products should remain off the shelves and stores like North Augusta's Kroger are offering customers full refunds on the recalled products.

They're also labeling the cans so they don't find their way back onto the shelves and into your home.

But Jackson says it will be a long time before he eats his favorite chili again. "In fact I think they need to call of it back just to make sure."

When News 12 spoke with Castleberry's Consumer hotline on Sunday (July 22) we were told the phones have been ringing off the hook with concerned customers who fear they have eaten the contaminated food.

Symptoms of botulism include double or blurred vision, slurred speech and muscle weakness. The company is urging anyone who may have consumed the contaminated meat products to visit their local physician.

You can read the complete list of potentially contaminated products here.

You can also call Castleberry at 1-800-203-4412 or 1-888-203-8446 with any questions.

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  • by Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer Location: North Augusta, SC on Jul 24, 2007 at 07:28 AM
    If you have eaten any Castleberry's products included in the recall, go to the doctor. If you are experiencing weird symptoms and you don't know why, go to the doctor. Please don't waste time wondering if you should go or not...just go. Your life could depend on it.
  • by ronda Location: mount airy on Jul 23, 2007 at 08:51 PM
    i love castleberry's beef stew and the only chili i will eat if i eat it is bunker hill, i ate some beef stew was felling sick and stiff in my joints i told my mom when she came by how sick i was i told her i think it was something i ate she told me to go to the doctor but i didnt, i got better after about 4 days my muscles were really stiff and i was dizzey and stayed on the toilet,nausea, never thought about the beef stew but thought it was something i ate, if this is what made me sick would i still have the sickness because my belly still bothers me and i still have loose stool almost everyday trying to figure out why so should i go to the doctor still i ate the beef stew about a month ago and some chili about 3 weeks ago i got both from food lion
  • by AMY Location: CENTRE ALABAMA on Jul 23, 2007 at 03:45 PM
  • by Heather Meadows, News 12 Web Producer Location: North Augusta, SC on Jul 23, 2007 at 03:18 PM
    Pat, the complete list is linked at the end of the article above, in the next to last paragraph. The link is also currently in our "As Seen on 12" box on the homepage.
  • by Pat Location: N. Augusta on Jul 23, 2007 at 03:12 PM
    I would like to get a lists of all of the products that have been recalled. Do you have it on your website and I am just overlooking it? Please let me know at your earliest convenience.
  • by m Location: usa on Jul 23, 2007 at 01:57 PM
    ping; a large portion of recalled products have been coming from china recently. pet food,baby bibs with lead,you name it. we have recalls here too. it is bad everywhere,full stop. its all sad.
  • by Yvonne Location: Pennsylvania on Jul 23, 2007 at 01:57 PM
    My Husband and I ate this several months ago, maybe that is why we are having some problems now.Will talk to our Dr. What a shame that we can't trust anything.Nothing is safe anymore.
  • by EDDIE Location: Jupiter, Florida on Jul 23, 2007 at 10:41 AM
    It's a shame ...They make an excellent product. It killed me to throw away all the cans of hot dog chili. Hope all gets back to normal shortly.
  • by Ping Location: China on Jul 23, 2007 at 09:56 AM
    And you people point finger at China's food products?
  • by kim Location: tennessee on Jul 23, 2007 at 01:47 AM
    we r all dead! just a mattter of time till it kicks in. my suggestion, keep eating at least we will die full.
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