salmon

FDA Announces Salmon Recall Amid Listeria Fears

salmonThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a press release issued by Salmolux that details a recall of its cold smoked salmon products due to a potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes. The company, which is based in Federal Way, Washington and part of the Pacific Seafood Group, issued the recall on May 25, and updated it with lot numbers on May 31. The salmon was packaged in vacuum-sealed bags and distributed in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, California, Nevada, Ohio, Washington, New York, Texas and Oregon.

The products involved are Atlantic, Pacific, Norwegian, Alaskan and Nova smoked salmon and are packaged with brands that include Sea Passion, Raley’s and Jensen’s. Package sizes range from four ounces to two pounds.

Although no illnesses have been reported so far, Salmolux is not taking any chances due to the potential health issues associated with Listeria monocytogenes. The bacterium is extremely robust and is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. Listeriosis is particularly dangerous to infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Even in healthy adults, short-term symptoms can include stiffness, nausea, severe headaches, high fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Pregnant women also face additional risks as the bacteria are linked to miscarriages, preterm delivery and stillbirths.

Human cases of Listeriosis are rare and are almost always caused by contaminated food. The bacterium spreads from the intestines to the bloodstream and infects other parts of the body. People can become sick up to two months after eating the infected food. Its flu-like symptoms pass in 7-10 days, but in some cases, the infection can spread to the nervous system and cause meningitis. The best way to avoid Listeriosis is the safe handling and thorough cooking of food. However, this recall involves smoked salmon products that are likely to be served cold.

The Pacific Seafood Group is a family-owned business that was founded in 1941 and has distribution centers in seven Western states. Salmolux was formed as a gourmet seafood supplier in 1986 and produces millions of pounds of salmon each year. Pacific Seafood acquired Salmolux in August 2009 for an undisclosed amount.

Resources:
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm354001.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm354852.htm
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm354855.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/
http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2009/08/pacific_seafood_acquires_salmo.html