Botulism Risk Prompts Recall of Schmaltz Herring, Old Smoked Sprats

D&M Smoked Fish, Inc. of Queens, New York, is recalling Haifa brand Schmaltz Herring and Cold Smoked Sprats because the fish was found to be uneviscerated, a risk factor for <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">botulism. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that Haifa brand Schmaltz Herring Lot # 51 and Cold Smoked Sprats Lot #54 are included in this recall.

The lot for Schmaltz Herring is packed in white plastic pales with salt brine and was distributed through following food retailers in the New York area on or after February 27:

• R&M Supermarket: 76-05 Main Street Flushing, New York

• Royal Seafood: 3100 Brighton Beach Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

• Ester Deli: 3664 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

The lot for Cold Smoked Sprats being recalled is packed in bulk cases and was distributed through following food retailers in the New York area on or after February 28:

• Gold Label: 281-285 Brighton Beach Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

• Gourmet Boutique: 36-88 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

• Ester Deli: 3664 Nostrand Avenue, Brooklyn, New York

The products were sampled by a New York State Agriculture and Markets Food Inspector during a routine inspection. Analysis of the product by New York State Food Laboratory personnel confirmed that the Schmaltz Herring and Cold Smoked sprats were not properly eviscerated prior to processing.

The sale of uneviscerated fish is prohibited under New York State Agriculture and Markets regulations because Clostridium Botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish. Clostridium Botulinum spores can lead to botulism poisoning, a serious and sometimes deadly foodborne illness. Uneviscerated fish has been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning.

Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled and should return the recalled fish to the place of purchase. D&M Smoked Fish can be reached at 1.718.523.8899.

No illnesses have been reported, to date, in connection with this recall; however, botulism poisoning can take some time to manifest symptoms.

As we’ve previously written, botulism symptoms can include: General weakness, dizziness, double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech and trouble with speaking or swallowing, and dry mouth. Difficulty in breathing; weakness of other muscles—for instance, muscle weakness that starts at the shoulders and moves progressively down the body—abdominal distension, and constipation may also be common symptoms.

Botulism poisoning is extremely neurotoxic and can cause paralysis of breathing muscles, which can lead to death without treatment and respiratory ventilation in about eight percent of cases. People with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and children have a higher risk for botulism symptoms.

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