Header graphic for print
Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Botulism Cases in Texas, California, Hawaii, Indiana and Georgia

As the recall that has not been a recall winds on, more cases of botulism, or suspected cases are showing up.

More suspected botulism cases probed

State health officials are investigating a third suspected case of botulism that an Indiana resident may have contracted by eating one of the products included in a recent canned meat recall.

The person ate one of the products on Sunday and became ill, although officials will not know whether it is botulism until test results return in a few days, said Lynae Granzow, an epidemiologist with the Indiana Department of Health. Granzow said today she was not sure which of the recalled products the patient might have eaten.

“Even though this recall has been out and we keep asking the media and the public to communicate the message, persons still are unaware of it,” she said. “Make sure this is absolutely not on your shelves.”

So far, four confirmed cases of botulism have been reported — two from Indiana and two from Texas. All four people consumed Hot Dog Chili Sauce Original, a product made by Castleberry’s. But health officials in other states, including Hawaii and California, are also investigating possible cases.

Hawaii botulism test results awaited

A state Department of Health official yesterday discounted a second reported case of botulism on Maui because the symptoms “didn’t meet the criteria” for the foodborne illness.

Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said the man who became ill, Wailuku attorney Keith Regan, was not hospitalized after going to the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room on Friday, and that no testing was ordered to determine if he had eaten food containing the botulinum toxin, which affects the nervous system and can cause paralysis and death.

Because no testing was done, Regan said, he doesn’t know if he had botulism or not. “I’m not sure. I just know I didn’t feel right, and when I heard about the other guy, it made me think about what I had been eating,” he said. Like Stockton, Regan said he was unaware that Cattle Drive brand chili was included in the recall, since the notices mentioned Castleberry’s, a name unfamiliar to most consumers.