LA Star Seafood Co. Inc., of Los Angeles, California, is recalling is Vobla Dry and Vobla Smoked fish over potential contamination with the very dangerous, sometimes deadly, Clostridium botulinum bacterium. The FDA discovered the problem from a retail inspection. Consumers are warned not to use this recalled fish, even if the fish does not appear be or does not smell spoiled.
The sale of improperly eviscerated fish that is five inches in length or greater, is prohibited because Clostridium botulinum spores are likelier to be concentrated in the viscera than in any other portion of the fish. Uneviscerated fish has been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning which may pose a potentially deadly health hazard. The following products are involved in this recall:
• Vobla Dry: 20-pound bulk boxes, not vacuum packed, no lot numbers, no expiration dates.
• Vobla Smoked: 20-pound bulk boxes, not vacuum packed, no lot numbers, no expiration dates.
The recalled Vobla Dry and Vobla Smoked fish was distributed and sold at: Arbat Store, Utah; European Importing, Russian Import, and M and M Market, Northern California; Golden Farms Market, Karabagh Market, and Tashkent Market, Southern California; Global Importing, Oregon; and Solomon’s Groceries and Europa, Colorado.
Customers who may have purchased the recalled Vobla Dry and Vobla Smoked fish from February 28, 2012 to April 23, 2012 are urged to destroy or return the products to the place of purchase.
There have not been any reported cases of illness related to these products; however, it can take some time from ingestion of a contaminated food product until symptoms being to manifest. The symptoms of botulism poising include 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’s abdominal distension, and constipation may also be common symptoms.
Infants with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated, and have a weak cry and poor muscle tone; this all relates to the muscle paralysis caused by the bacterial toxin. If untreated, these symptoms may progress to cause paralysis of the respiratory muscles, arms, legs, and trunk. In food borne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food, but can occur as early as six hours or as late as 10 days. A very small amount of the toxin is sufficient to lead to very severe poisoning. Of significant note, botulism poisoning is extremely neurotoxic and can cause paralysis of breathing muscles, which can lead to death without treatment. Respiratory ventilation is needed in about eight percent of cases.
People with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and children are at increased risk of developing botulism symptoms. Complications can include infection and aspiration pneumonia, long-term weakness, respiratory distress, and long-term nervous system problems. While antibiotics are often used in treatment, they do not always resolve the food borne illness..
LA Star Seafood Co. Inc. may be reached at 1.213.687.6558, Monday-Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST).