Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Smoked Salmon Recalled for Botulism Potential

An Alaskan company is recalling its smoked salmon products because they are labeled with improper instructions that could, if followed, lead to the product’s contamination with Clostridium botulinum bacteria.

Interior Alaska Fish Processors Inc., based in Fairbanks, AK, issued a voluntary recall of its “Santa’s Smokehouse” brand hot-smoked vacuum packed salmon products Tuesday because they bear a label indicating that they can be kept under refrigeration, when in fact they cannot, according to 2KTUU.com.

This misleading label implies that consumers may keep the fish in conditions that could in actuality allow for the growth of Clostridium botulinum, which produces botulinum toxins that attack the human nervous system, leading to paralysis.

Packaging on this smoked salmon – which has been produced since December of 2011 –  instructs consumers to “Keep refrigerated below 38 degrees F,” while the label is supposed to say that the product should remain frozen until right before consumption.

Products subject to this recall were distributed in the Fairbanks area both as custom orders and commercial items. The primary product label reads “Santa’s Smokehouse Gourmet Smoked Salmon,” a handwritten batch number. Smoked salmon subject to the recall comes in ‘original,’ ‘honey,’ ‘garlic,’ ‘sweet and sour,’ ‘teriyaki,’ ‘tropical,’ or ‘Cajun’” flavors.

The back of these packages may also have a supplemental sticker containing the correct warning: to keep the products frozen and thaw them under refrigeration.

Symptoms of botulism – the disease caused by infection with Clostridium botulinum – include weakness, dizziness, double-vision, trouble speaking or swallowing, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, abdominal distension, constipation and paralysis.

If you think you may have contracted botulism, contact your healthcare provider.

© Food Safety News