Colorado officials issued a health alert Friday warning consumers that Par’s Natural Foods “Pueblo Green Chili Sauce” may be contaminated with the bacteria that causes botulism poisoning, but as of Tuesday afternoon they still did not know if the implicated sauce had been distributed outside the state.
“At this point, we’re continuing to collect information to determine the need for a recall. We should have that wrapped up in a day or two,” said Jan Stapleman, deputy director of communications for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Media around Pueblo, CO, have reported that the local company, Par’s Natural Foods, recalled 16- and 32-ounce glass jars of its green chili sauce, but the company does not have any recall information posted on its website. Stapleman said the notice Friday from the health department was a “health alert,” not a recall.
Par’s Natural Foods distributes its products to retailers including the chains of Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market and Natural Grocers, according to information on its website.
Described as a craft food maker by the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper, Par’s Natural Foods conducted in-house product testing and found pH levels in the green chili sauce that were in compliance with food safety standards, but not up to the company’s standards.
“We just want to make sure because the pH level affects the shelf life,” Beizaee told the Pueblo Chieftain, adding that he hoped Par’s could return to regular production in a couple of weeks.
Botulism poisoning causes paralysis, usually requiring that victims be placed on ventilators. Treatment includes medication and other measures to ease severity of symptoms and make victims comfortable. Recovery can take months and many victims have life-long repercussions. Some cases result in death.
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