FDA Announces Recall of Little Mermaid Smoke House Fish Products

On April 4, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Little Mermaid Smoke House is voluntarily recalling its Pickled Herring and Smoked Herring fish products. Little Mermaid Smoke House is a fisheries company based in California. The company is issuing the recall because the fish could potentially be contaminated by Clostridium botulinum, a highly toxic bacteria, as a result of the company’s failure to remove the viscera.

The recalled fish were produced by Little Mermaid Smoke House and sold in California prior to April 4, 2013. No codes are listed on the products. The fish are in an airtight bag with the Little Mermaid Smoke House brand labeling. They are packaged as frozen fish that vary in weight and size.

The FDA advises consumers not to eat the product because it could cause a life-threatening illness. A contaminated fish will not necessarily look spoiled. Consumers should either discard it or return it to the place where it was purchased.

Government regulations prohibit the sale of non-eviscerated fish. Clostridium botulinum bacteria is likely to be concentrated in the viscera. It is typically not present in other parts of the fish. This bacteria is highly toxic and can lead to Botulism, which is a fatal form of food poisoning. Symptoms of Botulism include weakness, difficulty speaking or swallowing, dizziness, double-vision, difficulty in breathing, abdominal distension and constipation.

The FDA discovered the uneviscerated fish during an inspection of the Little Mermaid Smoke House facility. The agency carefully conducts inspections of food facilities to identify violations of federal regulatory law and the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. This helps to ensure food safety and protect consumers

Currently, there are no reports of any illnesses associated with the product. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms after consuming the fish, however, should seek immediate medical attention. Detailed information about the recall is listed on the FDA website.

Additional Reference:
Food and Drug Administration, Little Mermaid Smokehouse recalls smoked and pickled herring- http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm346674.htm
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Inspections Database http://www.fda.gov/iceci/enforcementactions/ucm222557.htm