Royal Mobile Estates Manager Ron Monk displayed some of the cans of recalled food that he removed from distribution to his Jacksonville mobile home park. pennell photo - Bob Pennell

Food scare lingers as cans found

Days after a nationwide recall was issued for canned goods possibly contaminated with botulism, a local food bank was still handing out items on the recall list.

Ron Monk, manager of Royal Mobile Estates in Jacksonville, discovered several cans of Castleberry's beef stew, one of the products recalled, in Wednesday morning's delivery from ACCESS Inc. He removed the cans and put them in the trash. He said the agency makes monthly deliveries for a dozen or so residents in the park.

Five boxes were inadvertently distributed Tuesday and Wednesday without the recalled goods having been pulled, said Andrea Jablonski, communications manager for ACCESS. She said the other four recipients were notified Wednesday.

ACCESS Inc., Jackson County's emergency food bank, serves more than 3,000 households per month.

"The boxes get made up weeks in advance," Jablonski said. Volunteers spent the weekend pulling recalled food, but the beef stew was not on the list at that time, she said.

ACCESS received notice from the Oregon Food Bank that the beef stew was added late Tuesday, but managers thought all the stew had been pulled.

Four cases of botulism poisoning in Indiana and Texas prompted the nationwide recall last week of 10 Castleberry's Food Co. products.

The individuals were all poisoned by undercooked hot dog chili sauce. But Castleberry's voluntarily expanded the recall over the weekend to include 90 products made in the Georgia plant where the chili sauce was made.

The products are sold under nearly two dozen brand names.

Botulism is a potentially deadly illness caused when a person consumes food with the botulinum toxin, a nerve toxin that can cause paralysis of the arms, breathing muscles and legs. Symptoms such as blurred vision and slurred speech generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. Health officials urge immediate medical attention should symptoms arise.

A national recall can take days to trickle down through food banks.

Jeff Josephson, development director for the Salvation Army in Medford, said his organization just received notification Wednesday of the expanded recall list.

He said the Salvation Army puts together food baskets and hands them out to customers. "Last week we served 110 families," he said. He said he's been on the phone all morning to customers.

"I've talked to quite a few people today who have eaten those products and have not gotten sick," he said.

St. Vincent de Paul had received some of the Castleberry's Hot Dog Chili Sauce from ACCESS, but workers pulled it all and returned it, said community relations spokeswoman Kathy Morgan.

The Interfaith Care Community in Ashland also distributes canned food. Office Manager Amber Pershall said the Oregon Food Bank contacted her Tuesday with the recall list, but Interfaith had none of the items listed.

Reach reporter Meg Landers at 776-4481 or e-mail

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