Contaminated Food Responsible For Hospitalizing Two Abernathy Students - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/1/07

Contaminated Food Responsible For Hospitalizing Two Abernathy Students

An Abernathy 7th grader is in critical condition, using a ventilator to breathe, after she ate tainted hot dog chili. NewsChannel 11 has learned that the girl and her brother became sick after eating Castleberry's Austex Hot Dog Chili Sauce Original for lunch on June 28th.

Last week, we told you Castleberry was recalling tens of millions of cans of food, including chili, hash and stew. Investigators for the FDA believe Castleberry's failed to properly cook some of its products, allowing the botulism bacteria to survive the canning process.

NewsChannel 11 learned the siblings became ill on June 29th, one day after eating the contaminated chili. The two children were initially evaluated at two different hospitals where a number of diagnoses were considered. After one child was transferred into the same hospital as the sibling, which we've discovered was Covenant Health System, doctors finally diagnosed both patients with botulism.

The girl who attends Abernathy Middle School is in the hospital in critical condition. We know she is on ventilator and was admitted with symptoms of paralysis.

The girl's brother, however, is doing much better and was released on July 26th. NewsChannel 11 has learned he will be an incoming freshman at Abernathy High School.

The health department tells us botulism is not contagious, and there is no concern that any other children could catch the illness.

The Lubbock Health Department is urging you to check your pantry for the recalled products. We called local grocery stores, and they've pulled the products from their shelves, but the products could still be sitting in your pantry.

Now botulism is a serious illness caused by eating foods contaminated with a specific nerve toxin.

"People who have eaten contaminated foods might start feeling symptoms anywhere from six hours to as far out as ten days. They average usually between 18 and 36 hours," Lubbock Health Department Tigi Ward said.

Symptoms include difficulty swallowing or speaking, facial weakness, double vision, trouble breathing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and in some cases paralysis. If not treated, botulism can be fatal.

The CDC is investigating two more possible botulism cases related to this recall, one in New Mexico and another in California.

Click here for a complete list of the recalled foods.

Consumer Product Safety Commission
Looking for the latest news on consumer recalls check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission's web site.

 

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