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Campers Eat Recalled Chili

The Health Department is taking precautions after children and staff at Huntersville church day camp may have eaten canned food included in a recall.


August 10, 2007

Parents of children at a Huntersville church day camp received a letter Thursday from the Mecklenburg County Health Department after it was discovered that a number of children and staff attending the camp may have eaten hot dog chili manufactured by the Castleberry's Company and linked to cases of botulism.

Parents of children at a Huntersville church day camp received a letter Thursday from the Mecklenburg County after it was discovered that a number of children and staff attending the camp may have eaten hot dog chili manufactured by the Castleberry's Company and linked to cases of botulism.

At this time, no one from the camp has become ill from eating the chili sauce. However, communicable disease nurses with the Health Department were at the camp on Thursday afternoon handing out the letters and answering any questions parents might have.

The Health Department has confirmed that three open cans and one unopened can of Bunker Hill Chili Sauce, produced by Castleberry's and recovered from the camp location, have product codes from the recalled lots.

Officials at the Huntersville Presbyterian Church Camp were not initially aware of the Bunker Hill brand tie to the recall and only learned of the situation Thursday morning. The non-meat chili was served to as many as 50 campers and staff for lunch on Tuesday, August 7. Camp staff reported that the chili was purchased at a local Food Lion store. It is not known whether or not it was bought before the recall was initiated. Environmental Health staff checked the store today and found none of the recalled product for sale to the public.

The initial period for the most serious reaction to the botulism toxin is within the first 18 hours. However, the patient is still at risk for a period of up to 10 days. The Health Department recommends that any parent who believes their child is beginning to show symptoms of botulism see their doctor immediately. Symptoms include: the onset of double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, or muscle weakness. If untreated, the illness can spread from head to toe, with paralysis of the face, arms, breathing muscles, trunk, and legs.

Health Department staff will continue to monitor the situation and provide information and support to the people involved. For a complete list of products included in the recall and for more information on botulism and its effects, visit www.meckhealth.org .

This canned meat recall involves more than 25 brands and multiple sizes of canned chili, chili sauce, beef stew, corned beef hash and some flavors of dog food produced by the Castleberry's Food Company of Augusta, Ga. These products are NOT just Castleberry's brands.

Consumers with questions about the recall can call the North Carolina Department of Agriculture at 919-733-7366 or the Castleberry's hotline at 1-800-203-4412.




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