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Real Poison Center Case

The poison center received a call from a mother that was concerned about a possible food poisoning. She had noticed a strange white substance forming on some green beans she had canned herself. She informed the specialist that her 2 children, ages 3 and 5, had eaten from the can earlier that day and now were vomiting and were feeling weak. Since it is possible to get botulism from home canned food and both children were experiencing weakness, the specialist referred them both to the hospital for further testing and observation. 


Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin, botulinum, that attacks the body’s nerves. Symptoms usually present several hours after eating the contaminated food. Common sources of foodborne botulism include improperly canned foods of low acidity including most vegetables and some fruits, meats, and fish. Botulism is a medical emergency.


After further testing and observation, it was determined it was not botulism. The children were both released from the hospital the following day.  

Hunting and Chronic Wasting Disease

Hunting season is here and we are going to highlight some information to keep yourself and those are you safe. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a neurological disease in elk, deer, moose and other members of the deer family. Back in 2012, the first case of Chronic Wasting Disease was reported in far West Texas. This disease can cause issues with the wildlife in Texas such as a decline with deers, elks, and cervid populations. This could also impact hunter participation. Mule deer, white tailed deer, elk, and red deer are susceptible to CWD, especially if they are in the Trans-Pecos, Panhandle, and South Central Texas. In Texas, hunters are required to bring in any animal to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) within 48 hours of harvest. Hunters are highly encouraged to report any sick looking deer, elk, to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. For more information, visit here.

All About Canning


All your hard work has paid off over the year and now you are ready to preserve your garden produce and share it with friends and family for the holidays. Canning is a great way to do all these things!

It is important to be aware that canning produce can be risky. Here are some ways to keep your loved ones and yourself safe, if you are canning this season!

Use the right equipment for the foods you are canning. Low acidity food such as poultry, milk, and most vegetables can be sources of botulism. Botulism is rare toxin that is deadly if consumed. It can cause difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and death.

The second tip is to use proper canning techniques. The USDA has a complete canning guide. It can be found here. It is the best way to ensure you are canning properly and safely.

Lastly, if any of the cans are leaking, bulging, or swollen, throw it out! Any cans are may look like they are cracked or damaged needs to be thrown out. If any of the food inside looks discolored, smells bad, or has mold in it needs to be thrown out.

If you have any concerns or questions please call 1-800-222-1222 to get in contact with our poison specialists. 

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