Food Safety Group Project—Group Four/Botulism
From July through August of 2007, eight cases of botulism were reported in Indiana, Texas, and Ohio. The CDC investigated and found that all eight people had eaten hot dog chili sauce made by the Castleberry Food Company. The FDA initially recalled all cans of hot dog chili sauce that were marked with certain “best if used by” dates. However, further inspection of the Castleberry plant revealed deficiencies in their canning methods. The FDA then expanded the recall to include all chili sauce, regardless of date, along with other canned items including some brands of dog food. The FDA, USDA, and state health agencies visited retail stores across the country to ensure that affected items were removed from store shelves. The FDA found that 1,303 stores out of 12,989 stores still had recalled items on the shelves, and proceeded to remove the items. The FDA warned consumers to avoid opening recalled cans, and to carefully dispose of them by double-wrapping the cans in plastic bags, and taping them shut before throwing them out.
Answer the following questions:
1) What symptoms did the victims likely experience?
2) Why do you think the public health agencies visited the stores personally to verify
that the recalled items were no longer being sold?
3) Why wasn’t the botulism killed when the victims heated the sauce?
4) Why do you think the FDA gave such specific disposal instructions?
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