The Food and Drug Administration has shut down Castleberry’s food plant in Augusta, Georgia. In July 2007, Castleberry went through a massive recall of canned chili linked to botulism poisoning.
Castleberry Foods produces Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs. (Natural Balance also recalled cans of Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs for possible botulism risk during the canned chili recall.)
The suspension of its operating permit and shutdown was ordered on Friday, and a FDA spokesperson said that part of the processing lines used to make food were not being operated properly and this could result in underprocessed cans of food.
Here is the FDA press release:
In July 2007, over 80 types of canned food products and 4 types of dog food produced by Castleberry Foods were recalled due to possible contamination with Clostridium botulinum.
FDA issued an ‘Order of Need for Emergency Permit’ to the firm at that time. This means that the firm was not able to ship its products in interstate commerce until it received a permit from FDA. The agency issues an ‘Order of Need for Emergency Permit’ if it determines that a firm does not meet requirements of the regulations pertaining to the manufacture of thermally processed low-acid foods or acidified foods, such that the safety of the food is in question.
FDA believes the company remedied the previously existing food safety problems and the processing procedures will result in a finished product that does not present a health hazard.
The firm requested an emergency permit and FDA issued an emergency permit after a review of a firm’s documented corrective actions and processing procedures. In September 2007, FDA issued a permit that allowed the firm to ship products that were processed using the firm’s machinery (the vertical still retorts) not associated with the recalled product. None of these retorts was believed to be linked to the previous C. botulinum contamination.
During a recent inspection of these processing lines FDA found that the vertical still retorts were not being operated in a manner as required, raising the possibility that some cans processed in these retorts could be under-processed. On March 7, 2008 FDA sent a letter to the company suspending the temporary emergency permit.
No products have been identified as contaminated. FDA has asked the firm to verify the safety of all products produced since the emergency permit was issued.