Press Release

July 19, 2007


State Public Health Director issues warning about food borne illness linked to canned goods

 No cases of botulism from consumption of
identified canned goods in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill – Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director, today is warning consumers not to eat certain brands of canned goods due to possible contamination with botulism. Botulism can be fatal.

Four cases of botulism have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which include two cases from Indiana and two cases from Texas. The onset of illness ranges from June 29 to July 9, 2007.  All four persons were reported to have consumed Castleberry’s brand Hot Dog Chili Sauce Original. Botulinum toxin was identified in leftover chili sauce collected from a patient’s refrigerator.

“To date there are no cases in Illinois of anyone becoming sick from botulism after eating these canned goods, but an investigation is ongoing,” said Dr. Whitaker. “But anyone who thinks they may have experienced symptoms of illness after eating these products is urged to contact their health care provider.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has sent a health advisory to local health departments, hospitals and other health care professionals alerting them of the severity of this illness and the seriousness of the outbreak.

Signs and symptoms of botulism include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. If untreated, the illness may progress from head to toe, with paralysis of the face, arms, breathing muscles, trunk and legs.  Paralysis of the breathing muscles can lead to death unless prompt medical care is sought. Symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food but can occur as early as 6 hours or as late as 10 days.

IDPH was notified today that the recall has been expanded to include all of the following products:

  • Castleberry’s Hot Dog Chili Sauce, 10 oz can (UPC3030000101)
  • Austex Hot Dog Chili Sauce, 10 oz can (UPC 3030099533)
  • Kroger Hot Dog Chili Sauce, 10 oz can (UPC 1111083942)
  • Morton House Corned Beef Hash, 15 oz can (UPC7526665830)
  • Cattle Drive Chili with Beans, 15 oz can (UPC 3030001515)
  • Southern Home Corned Beef Hash, 15 oz can (UPC 0788015360)
  • Meijer Corned Beef Hash, 15 oz can (UPC4125095229)
  • Castleberry’s Chili with Beans, 15 oz can (UPC 3030001015)
  • Castleberry’s Barbecue Pork, 10 oz can (UPC 3030000402)
  • Bunker Hill Chili No Beans, 10 oz can (UPC7526604112)

This recall only affects the products listed above with a “best by” date of April 30, 2009 , through May 22, 2009. The “best by dates” can be found on the can lids. Consumers, who have any of these products , or any foods made with these products , should throw them away immediately. If the “best by” date is missing or unreadable consumers should throw the product out.

Anyone who suspects a case of botulism is asked to notify your local health department as soon as possible.

idph online home
idph online home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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