After calling nearly 250,000 customers last week to tell them the smoked salmon they had purchased was being recalled for potential Salmonella contamination, Costco has released one of the two recalled brands of the fish back onto the market, and has been informed by health officials that no U.S. illnesses are linked to either product.
“All code dates of Kirkland Signature Norwegian Smoked have been released for use and sale by the Dutch Authorities and our supplier,” said Craig Wilson, Costco’s director of food safety in an emailed statement to Food Safety News.
Kirkland Signature was one of two brands under which the recalled salmon, produced by Netherlands -based Foppen, was sold. This brand of smoked salmon was manufactured at a Dutch plant, while the other brand – sold under the brand name Foppen – was processed at the company’s plant in Greece. The Foppen salmon is not being cleared, according to Wilson, because smoked salmon from the Greek plant has been linked to over 200 Salmonella illnesses in the Netherlands.
“Because it comes from the implicated plant in Greece it is being destroyed, even though it is not implicated in illness in the US,” says Wilson of the recalled Foppen brand salmon. “I’m not prepared to take chances with it.”
While Foppen smoked salmon tested positive for the strain causing the Netherlands outbreak, “all global testing on the Kirkland Signature Smoked Salmon has been negative for any microorganism of concern including salmonella,” said Wilson. He added that the brand has always tested negative in Costco’s internal test and hold program.
Costco says consumers who purchased the affected salmon products are being updated on this new information via the company’s automated recall notification system.
U.S. health officials are continuing to interview patients who contracted Salmonella Thompson infections over the past month, since the rate of these cases unusually high over this time period, but so far no link has been established between the illnesses and Foppen smoked salmon.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” said Lola Russell, spokesperson for CDC, in an emailed statement to Food Safety News. “We are still interviewing case-patients but at this point there is no indication that the US cases are linked to smoked salmon.”
Editor’s note: This article was updated since its original publication to include new information from the CDC.
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