Monday, January 26, 2009

Food Safety - Botulism-related Recall

Please check preserved sauces may have been given as gifts this past holiday season, as well as products in your cupboards as listed in the recall notice described below.

There have been no reported illnesses, but some Stonewall Kitchen sweet sauces, with chocolate, peanut butter or caramel, are being recalled. These products do not meet the necessary standards to prevent botulism as a canned food to be stored in a sealed jar at room temperature (which they are). The pH and water activity levels are not appropriate for the way they are prepared and processed.

Should the jar contain Clostridium botulinum, the conditions would allow outgrowth of the organism and toxin formation.Botulism is a potentially fatal form of food poisoning. It can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek IMMEDIATE medical attention.

This recall notice has a list of the specific products being recalled. They may have been purchased as individual jars or as part of gift baskets. Stonewall Kitchen preserves are very commonly available and sold in many gift shops as well as grocery stores. It also has the company's 1-800 number if you have any additional questions about this recall.

Elizabeth Andress
Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D.
Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist
Director, National Center for Home Food Preservation
Department of Foods and Nutrition
The University of Georgia
208 Hoke Smith Annex
Athens, GA 30602-4356
Phone: (706) 542-3773
FAX: (706) 542-1979

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