Monday, July 30, 2007

Made In U.S.A. Food Recall

Reports in the media are saying that stores in the U.S. have still not removed all the Castlebury Chili and canned food products that have been tainted with botulism, from their shelves, despite last weeks recall by the company and warnings from the FDA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The FDA is reporting that Castelbury has increased the products being recalled including both human food and pet food.

The source of botulism was poor product inspection due to the volunteer privatized food inspection process used in the U.S.

Chinese food products or additives were not identified as being involved as was the case in the recent pet food recall scandal.

And like the pet food scandal Castlebury is owned by an Income Trust.

Cans of chili contaminated with botulism could be in the homes of unwitting Canadian consumers despite a countrywide recall from Wal-Mart stores, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency warned yesterday.

Health officials are asking Canadians to scour their homes for two products - Great Value Original Chili With Beans and Great Value Hot Chili With Beans - after four people fell ill in the U.S.

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 continue to turn up recalled products for sale in convenience stores, gas stations and family run groceries, from Florida to Alaska. The FDA alone has found them in roughly 250 of the more than 3,700 stores visited in nationwide checks, according to figures the agency provided to The Associated Press.

Yet food and other product recalls remain a voluntary process instigated by manufacturers. And there are no federal fines or penalties levied against companies whose products are subject to recall, said Amanda Eamich, spokesperson for the Food Safety and Inspection Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"There is no such thing as a mandatory recall," said Eamich. "However, no company has ever refused a recall for FSIS."

While federal oversight agencies cannot instigate a recall, they do have the legal authority to detain and seize products in order to protect the public from health problems or possible death. They also can enforce product safety requirements at the manufacturing plant, said Eamich.

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