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Health and Family Services Cabinet
DPH Working with Federal Officials to Contain Botulism Outbreak

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, July 24, 2007  
Contact Information:  Vikki Franklin or Beth Crace,(502) 564-6786  


Current Outbreak Has Not Affected Kentucky

Public health scientists and food safety experts in Kentucky are working with federal officials to reduce the risk of possible foodborne illness in association with an outbreak of botulism affecting consumers in Texas and Indiana who ate canned hot dog chili sauce. No cases linked to this outbreak have been reported in Kentucky.

Due to possible contamination with botulinum toxin, the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are advising not to eat certain canned food products manufactured by Castleberry’s Food Company.

These include certain Castleberry’s brands as well as products distributed under other brand names. The recall includes some canned dog food. A listing of the recalled products can be found at the following Web sites:

· http://www.castleberrys.com/news_productrecall.asp (for all products)
· http://www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html (for FDA-regulated products)
· http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fsis_Recalls/index.asp (for UDSA-regulated products)

Foodborne botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by consuming foods that contain botulinum toxin, a nerve toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Signs and symptoms of the illness include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing and muscle weakness. If untreated, the illness can progress to paralysis. Symptoms can develop up to 10 days after eating a contaminated food and should be cause for consumers to seek medical attention immediately.

“We are not aware of any botulism cases in Kentucky related to this current outbreak, and we are working to educate consumers about the specific food items that should not be consumed in order to prevent illness,” said William Hacker, M.D., acting undersecretary for health and public health commissioner for DPH. “To ensure continued food safety in Kentucky, we’re asking that consumers safely discard items that appear on the federal recall list.”

The Kentucky Food Safety Branch recommends consumers who have purchased one of the recalled products follow the guidelines below, issued by the CDC.

I have an unopened can of one of the recalled products. What should I do? Do not open the can. Place the unopened can in a sealable bag, wrap two plastic bags around it and tape it tightly. Dispose in household trash out of reach of humans and pets. Wash hands with soap and running water for at least two minutes.

I have an open can of one of the recalled products. What should I do? Wear gloves and eye protection.

Put the open can in a sealable bag, wrap two plastic bags around it, and tape it tightly. Dispose in household trash out of reach of humans and pets. Slowly remove gloves and dispose after use. Wash hands with soap and running water for at least 2 minutes.
 
I have a container with some of the recalled food, or a food prepared using one of the recalled products. What should I do? Wear gloves and eye protection. If the food is in a disposable container, leave it in the container. Put the container in a sealable bag, wrap two plastic bags around it and tape it tightly. If the food is in a non-disposable container, put the food from the container into a sealable bag, wrap two plastic bags around it, and tape it tightly. Dispose the taped bags in household trash out of reach of humans and pets. Fill the non-disposable container with a diluted bleach solution (use one-fourth cup bleach for every two cups of water), and allow to soak for at least 15 minutes. Discard the liquid and wash thoroughly with soap and running water. Slowly remove gloves and dispose after use. Wash hands with soap and running water for at least two minutes.

I spilled the recalled product or a food made with the recalled product on my kitchen counter, floor, carpet or furniture. How do I clean it up safely? Make a dilute bleach solution (use one-fourth cup bleach for every two cups of water). Completely cover the spill with the bleach solution. Place a layer of paper towels, five to 10 towels thick, on top of the bleach. Let the towels sit for at least 15 minutes, then put the paper towels in the trash. Wipe up any remaining liquid with new paper towels. Clean the area with liquid soap and water to remove the bleach. Wash hands with soap and running water for at least two minutes. Be aware that bleach can damage surfaces. Cleaning a surface with soap or any other detergent and water without prior bleach treatment may not remove botulinum toxin.

 

 

 



 

Last Updated 7/24/2007