How To Identify Botulism Symptoms

Botulism is an incredibly serious food-borne illness, and the Castleberry’s recall means we should remind ourselves of the symptoms. According to WebMD they are:

  • Double vision
  • blurred vision
  • drooping eyelids
  • slurred speech
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dry mouth
  • muscle weakness
  • Infants with botulism appear

  • lethargic
  • feed poorly
  • constipated
  • have a weak cry
  • have poor muscle tone

These are the first signs of the muscle paralysis the bacteria inflicts. Untreated, they can lead to limb paralysis, or lung paralysis, in which case you’re probably going to die. Symptoms usually appear 16-36 hours later, but can show up as soon as 6 hours and as late as 10 days.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Botulism FAQs [WebMD]
(Photo: Getty)

Cans Infected With Botulism Are Exploding!
Mission: Find Castleberry’s Products Recalled For Botulism Still On The Shelves


Edit Your Comment

  1. bluesunburn says:

    The symptoms for adults are also similar to the symptoms of a stroke, another thing that it’s good to watch out for…

  2. sandwich_pants says:

    Hmmm…I think I might exhibit a couple of those symptoms later today at the Michigan Summer Beer fest, but I won’t be terribly concerned with Botulism at the time.
    But on a more serious note, I wish WebMD would prioritize which symptoms more directly and uniquely relate to the disease so that people won’t feel tired and maybe a little sore and think “OMG TEH BOCHULIZM!!!”. I guess that is a hard problem to approach though, giving laymen better tools for self diagnosis…

  3. Dervish says:

    God, this is so bad. Most people associate food poisioning with puking your guts out and intestinal, um, “distress.” How many people get this and don’t realize it until it’s too late?

  4. adrock75 says:

    Also your face gets tighter and you look surprised all the time.
    Oh, wait-that’s botox.

  5. camille_javal says:

    @ AdRock75 – I can see it now – the Castleberry’s Facial – just layer canned chili or dog food on your face for that firm, youthful glow.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We’re already getting calls to patients who claim (emphasis on claim) to have eaten tainted Castleberry’s Chili-Dog sauce. When they tell me about their violent diarrhea, I think to myself that even untainted Castleberry’s Chili-Dog sauce will do that to you.

    Hayden, EMT-P

    P.S. Has anyone else noticed this, the peanut butter, and several incidents are coming out of Georgia? I don’t mean to bash my home state, but, what gives?

  7. TeraGram says:


    According to the CDC, there’s only about 110 cases of botulism, on average, in the U.S. each year and of those only 25% are foodborne and the survival rate is greater than 90%.

  8. KF4 says:

    You know, here I thought Augusta was doing pretty good. I mean, we got a commercial on the front page recently, but now this Castleberry stuff. Bah.

  9. QuirkyRachel says:

    Geez, all this Botox going to waste in Chili-sauce….

  10. Dervish says:

    @TeraGram: “survival rate is greater than 90%.”

    Yeah, I guess if my limbs started to go numb, I’d probably head for a doctor, too.

    What’s the source of the non-foodborne poisoning?

  11. Jesus On A Pogo Stick says:

    Geez… I didn’t know you could survive. My Microbiology teacher keeps telling us that when you’re diagnosed with Botulism that the nurses “will just hold your hand as you die, and make you as comfortable as possible, because you’re going to die and there is nothing they can do.” Hmm… I always thought she was kind of batty…