The New Mexico man who fell ill with Botulism after reportedly eating canned Castleberry’s chili products earlier this year has died. The man, who was 52, has not been confirmed as part of the Botulism outbreak traced to consumption of Castleberry’s products, according to a New Mexico Environment Department spokeswoman, who renewed a warning to consumers that contaminated Castleberry’s products may still be in their pantries. As reported by the Deming Headlight:
This latest warning is an extension and update of an earlier warning issued by NMED dating back to late July. According to Stone, the earlier recall is not complete, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "There are reports that these hazardous products may still be on store shelves," she said.
"The (New Mexico) Department of Health did not confirm that the Sandoval County man’s botulism diagnosis was linked to the recalled food items," Stone said, "but the man had eaten some of the recalled goods in the past and had shopped at a store that sold several recalled canned goods."
Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Clostridium botulinum is the name of a group of bacteria commonly found in soil. The bacteria are anaerobic, gram-positive, spore-forming rods that produce a potent neurotoxin. These rod-shaped organisms grow best in low oxygen conditions. The bacteria form spores that allow them to survive in a dormant state until exposed to conditions that can support their growth. The organism and its spores are widely distributed in nature. They occur in both cultivated and forest soils, bottom sediment of streams, lakes, and coastal waters, in the intestinal tracts of fish and mammals, and in the gills and viscera of crabs and other shellfish.
Foodborne botulism is a severe type of food poisoning caused by the ingestion of foods containing the potent neurotoxin formed during growth of the organism. The incidence of the disease is low, but the disease is of considerable concern because of its high mortality rate if not treated immediately and properly. Most of the 10 to 30 outbreaks that are reported annually in the United States are associated with inadequately processed, home-canned foods, but occasionally commercially produced foods are implicated as the source of outbreaks. Sausages, meat products, canned vegetables, and seafood products have been the most frequent vehicles for foodborne botulism.