‘Austex’ Chili Blamed For Botulism Death

     ALBUQUERQUE (CN) – A man died of botulism he got from Bumble Bee and Castleberry’s Foods’ “Austex” canned chili, his sister claims in Bernalillo County Court. Ann Marie Caffrey says her brother died after eating a can that remained on the shelves of the T&T Supermarket after the USDA recalled the products in July 2007.

     The plaintiff claims the U.S. FDA identified safety problems at Castleberry’s and Bumble Bee’s food processing plant in Augusta, Ga., as early as 2004. She claims the defendants “repeatedly chose to break the rules by not ensuring proper temperature control” and other violations.
     She claims the FDA recorded repeat violations in February 2007.
     The complaint states that two children in Texas got botulism from defendants’ canned meat in May 2007; as did a married couple in Indiana; and people in New Mexico. It claims that the FDA recorded that food preparation temperatures at defendants’ plants were too low in July and August 2007, and that this led to a “nationwide botulism Type A outbreak form Castleberry’s/Bumble Bee Products.”
     The FDA issued recalls on July 18 and 19, 2007. Plaintiff claims her brother, Christopher Caffrey, died from eating a can that was missed. The complaint mentions “Austex beef stew and Austex onion chili hot dog sauce.”
     The complaint describes the long, painful death botulism inflicts, which the plaintiff saw her brother suffer. She demands punitive damages. She is represented by Randi McGinn.

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