Castleberry's recalls affect local food banks - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Castleberry's recalls affect local food banks

July 25, 2007

Albany -- Food banks nationwide, including those here in south Georgia, are on alert.

They're trying to make sure the food they're giving out isn't tainted with botulism.

It's all because of a recall of more than 90 types of canned chili, beef stew, and other meat products made at the Castleberry Foods plant in Augusta.

The urgent recall of Castleberry's canned food products was heeded quickly by the Southwest Georgia Food Bank which serves more than 300 non-profit agencies throughout Southwest Georgia.

Until Monday, the bank distributed cans of Castleberry's beef stew. That product is now on the voluntary recall list.

Food Bank of Southwest Georgia interim director Tony Hall says much of the recalled food was already sent to the agencies.

"Prior to the recall we had 7 or 8 pallets of this product that was already distributed out. So we called and told the agencies that actually got the product to put it on hold," said Hall.

Beef Stew Original is the Castleberry's product distributed here at the Food Bank of Southwest Georgia. Now even with the recall, USDA guidelines say this product just can't be tossed into a dumpster.

Hall says, "If they call us and say you need to destroy it, you would have to open each individual can. We would actually tell our agencies to bring them back to us, and we would open the cans for them, but you cannot just throw the cans away."

And if you've received a Castleberry's recalled product from a food pantry, Hall says there are measures that need to be taken.

"Don't use any more of it. Call us here at the food bank, and we could give you instructions that we've gotten from Department of Human Resources."

Fortunately no one reported sickness as a result of eating food distributed by the Foodbank of Southwest Georgia.

The Southwest Georgia Food Bank serves 20 counties.

They say this is the first time in recent years they have been affected by a food recall.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=PantryRecalls/CF