carried a story written by Associated Press reporter Andrew Bridges, published today, that warns consumers – again – to throw out canned Castleberry’s products.  It is a message that Public health officials have used repeatedly since discovering Castleberry’s products were contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism.

"We’re not talking here about a bug that lands you in the bathroom for a few days with diarrhea. We’re talking about a toxin that puts you in the intensive care unit," said Dr. David Acheson, the FDA’s lead food safety expert. "This is foodborne illness with an extra kick in it, big time."

Public health officials are even more concerned than ever, though, now that cans of Castleberry’s products have begun exploding.  Bridges wrote:

Cans of recalled food are bursting, swollen with bacteria that cause botulism.

The bursting cans were among those being held by Castleberry’s Food Co., which last week announced a massive recall that now includes more than 90 potentially contaminated products, including chili sauces and dog foods.

News about the bursting cans gives new urgency to warnings from federal health officials to get rid of the recalled cans from pantries and store shelves.

Spot checks by the Food and Drug Administration and state officials are turning up recalled products for sale in convenience stores, gas stations and family-run groceries.

On July 18, 2007, the Food and Drug Administration and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Castleberry’s Food Company was recalling multiple products with "best by" dates from April 20, 2009 – May 22, 2009 due possible botulism contamination. The two agencies warned consumers to throw away the product due to the health risks of botulism poisoning, which can lead to paralysis and death. In its botulism recall announcement, FDA stated that two children in Texas and an Indiana couple who ate Castleberry products had been hospitalized with botulism poisoning.

On July 21, USDA announced that Castleberry’s was expanding its recall of products that fell under the agency’s jurisdiction, and on July 23, FDA announced that Castleberry’s was expanding its botulism recall of products under that agency’s jurisdiction, as well. The expanded recall notices are available here: