Today’s Editorial July 25: Food recalls scary

The number of food recall notices we have had this year is frightening.

We are thankful that those who oversee our health and our food are paying attention to the recall notices.

What is scary, though, is that so much of what we consume is being recalled.

Just yesterday the Food and Drug Administration in the United States was demanding quick action on recalling canned meat products made at a Castleberry’s Food Company plant in the US southern state of Georgia.

An FDA spokesman said 10s of millions of cans of food may have been involved in the botulism scare.

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by consuming foods with the botulinim 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.

Canned goods can become contaminated when they aren’t heated enough and at high enough temperatures to kill the spores.

In this global world, a food recall in the United States influences all of us, even in the Cayman Islands.

Grocers here were quick to react to pull the canned goods off their shelves and provide information on how to return suspect products.

Again, we thank them for their vigilance.

But it’s not just up to the supermarkets. It’s up to all of us to check our canned goods in our home pantries and cabinets.

Many of us (everyone should already) have plenty of hurricane supplies on hand. And, for most of us, that supply includes canned goods.

It is vital that you check your supplies now to make sure they don’t contain any of the suspect food. A full list of recalled items appeared on page 2 of Tuesday’s edition of the Caymanian Compass.

You can also learn more by logging on to http://www.castleberrys.com/ or http://www.fsis.usda.gov/

So far we’ve had a quiet hurricane season, but that could change at any moment.

Those of us who were here during and Ivan remember too well the meals we made from canned goods.

It would be awful to go through a bad storm and then try to survive on tainted food.

Check your hurricane food supplies today. If you find any of the suspect food, return it to the store where you bought it or just toss it.

Don’t put yourself or family and friends at risk.

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