On Your Side: Man Buys Recalled Chili

By: Jeff Anderson Email
By: Jeff Anderson Email

News 12 at 6, July 23, 2007

Augusta -- Augusta's Castleberry Food Plant shut down Monday after 16 cans of chili sauce tested positive for botulism.

Nearly 100 products have been recalled, but on Monday, News 12 found some of the recalled food is still available to buy.

Production has stopped at the Castleberry Plant so investigators can figure out why the contamination happened.

But apparently the news of the recall didn't reach the ears of every grocery store in the area.

Imagine Robert Walker's surprise when he went into the Kroger on Dean's Bridge Road Sunday night only to find recalled chili. "I know it wasn't supposed to be there," he said.

It was Kroger brand Chili With No Beans, made by Castleberry Foods and the bar code matches exactly to one on the recalled list.

So, Robert asked to speak to the manager. "He said he couldn't do anything till he got an email from the home office," he said.

This is the same chili that Castleberry is voluntarily recalling because it might be contaminated with botulism.

12 On Your Side went to the Dean's Bridge Road Kroger Monday morning to see if there were any more cans of recalled food.

We found just one. The manager on duty seemed surprised and promised to recheck the shelves. She apologized for it and the one Robert bought, which was still on the shelf.

We checked several other Kroger stores, but none of them had any recalled product on their shelves.

You might remember the recall began last week with 10 brands and then was increased over the weekend to 90 brands. The scene in most stores was active as cans were being pulled as soon as the news came down.

Now, Federal Investigators are spending a lot of time at the Augusta plant while trying to figure out how this problem got started.

"At this point, the plant is shut down so that we can focus our effort on taking care of this issue," said Dave Melbourne, senior vice president of Castleberry Foods.

If you have any recalled product, please contact the company directly for information on how to receive your refund.

You can do that by calling 1-888-203-8446 or you can click here.

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  • by Chris on Aug 2, 2007 at 07:24 AM
    Compelling story! I would love to share this with our viewers. Shoot me an email as soon as you can.
  • by Holly Hanson Location: Bloomington, IN on Aug 1, 2007 at 04:02 PM
    My name is Holly Hanson. I'm sure you have received many e-mails of this nature, but I had to write. We have had a dog, no a family member for 4 years. His name was Tyson and he was a black boxer. I never treated Tysie much like a dog, he was more like a child to me. Tuesday we had eaten the Kroger brand hot dog chili sauce, that is mentioned in the recall. We were unaware of the recall at that time. Tyson being the sneaky dog he was, ate the remaining sauce left in the pan. Wednesday evening Tyson became very ill. After a long, hard, tearjerking six days we could no longer watch him suffer and had the vet end his life. Why did he die? Botulism. That's what was found in his blood work. I feel the need to tell you that watching the effects of that disease was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Not to mention, I had to inform my ten year old that a normal house hold food killed his friend. I am not placing blame on anyone. Things do after all happen. I suppose the reason for this letter is just to tell our story. We are a heartbroken family with a very expensive vet bill. And not to mention my husband and I consumed the product ourselves. We have had no symptoms at this point, but I understand that it could take two weeks to have any effects. I believe that with your recall, you should also inform the population of the severity of the recall. Botulism is a paralizing disease that effects the nervous system. That is not something to brush off. Like I said, you have probably received a lot of these e-mails. Mine is different, I have seen what can happen. I miss my dog more than you could ever imagine. He was not just a pet to this family, he was a part of this family. And we have lost him entirely too soon. Please warn others so that they do not have to endure the pain this family has. thank you for your time, and I am sorry I will NEVER buy chili sauce of any brand again. sincerely Holly Hanson
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