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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning people not to eat certain canned foods or to serve their pets certain dog food because of possible botulism contamination. Chili, chili sauce, beef stew, and beef hash products produced by several companies have been recalled.
Botulism is a serious illness caused by eating food contaminated by botulinum toxin, a potent neurotoxin. Botulinum toxin is produced by a bacterium called the clostridium botulinum that grows in improperly canned food. The toxin prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and can cause visual problems, breathing difficulties, paralysis and death. Even small amounts of the toxin are dangerous and can enter a person's body through a cut in the skin.
For specific product numbers and descriptions, please visit the FDA Web site. To dispose of products that may be contaminated, the FDA recommends:
For more information about botulism, see:
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