Salted Smoked Split Herring Recalled for Potential Botulism

Porky Products of Carteret, New Jersey just recalled Salted Smoked Split Herring (bloaters) over the potential the uneviscerated fish has the potential to be contaminated with the very dangerous <"">Clostridium botulinum pathogen, said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Salted Smoked Split Herring, were distributed in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, North Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania through supermarkets and are packaged in 18-pound boxes with lot number 274 10, which were distributed to the market from April 14-28, 2011. The recalled Salted Smoked Split Herring is imported from Canada.

Because the Salted Smoked Split Herring is uneviscerated, this product may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores, which can cause Botulism, a very serious and potentially fatal, potentially paralytic, foodborne illness.

Uneviscerated fish are those fish who were not disemboweled and whose internal organs—viscera—remain intact within the fish. The sale of uneviscerated fish is prohibited under New York State Agriculture and Market regulations because Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera—or internal organs—than any other portion of the fish. Uneviscerated fish have been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning in the past.

Customers who have purchased and still have this product in stock are urged to return the recalled fish to Porky Products Inc. for a full refund. Customers with questions may contact their Porky Sales Rep.

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.

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 foodborne illness.

Symptoms of botulism occur anywhere from eight to 36 hours after consuming food contaminated with the Clostridium botulinum toxin. Only a very small amount of this toxin is sufficient to lead to very severe poisoning.

About 110 cases of botulism occur in the United States annually.

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