(Indianapolis-AP) -- Indiana health officials on Thursday stepped
up efforts to pull recalled canned chili sauce and other products
from store shelves around the state, saying the recall message
warning of a link to botulism had not been heard by everyone.
Large grocery stores have pulled the products, but some smaller
gas stations, drug stores and mom-and-pop markets have not, said
Lynae Granzow, an epidemiologist working on the botulism cases in
"It has been a problem getting the message out," Granzow said
Thursday. "We're having a problem reaching the smaller stores."
The government has told people to immediately throw away more
than 90 different products, from chili sauce to corned beef hash to
dog food, produced at a plant linked to a botulism outbreak.
Castleberry's Food Co. temporarily closed the suspect plant, and
has hired an outside firm to visit more than 8,500 retailers around
the country in an effort to quickly get recalled products off store
Local health department workers in Indiana are also visiting
stores to check for the products, Granzow said. The state is urging
people to check their pantries and throw away recalled products so
they don't become ill.
"All it would take is one can," Granzow said, adding that
people should talk to family and friends to make sure they are
aware of the recall.
So far, four cases of botulism have been reported -- two from
Columbia City and two from Texas. All four people consumed Hot Dog Chili Sauce Original, a product made by Castleberry's.
Castleberry later expanded its voluntary recall of canned meat
products. It specified more than 80 types of canned chili, beef
stew, corned beef hash and other meat products sold under a
multitude of brand names.
Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by consuming foods
with the botulinum toxin, a nerve toxin that can cause paralysis of
the arms, breathing muscles and legs. Symptoms, such as blurred
vision and slurred speech, generally begin 18 to 36 hours after
eating contaminated food.
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