Loki Fish Co. of Seattle is voluntarily recalling wild smoked pink salmon after a positive test for Listeria monocytogenes and has stopped shipping and selling all products from the smokehouse that handled the two recalled lots.
A random testing program by the Washington State Department of Agriculture discovered the pathogen in a finished product sample collected at Terra Organic in Bellingham, WA, according to a statement on the Loki Fish website.
The recalled salmon was distributed to retailers in Oregon and Washington, sold at Seattle area farmers markets and sold via mail order. A list of retail outlets and farmers markets is available no the Loki Fish Co. website.
The recalled salmon was shipped in 4- to 7-ounce clear plastic packages. Lot numbers are on the back of the packages. The two recalled lot numbers are 121215 5594 and 121215 5613. The salmon was processed by Felix Custom Smoking, a Loki Fish Co. co-packing vendor, according to the company’s recall statement.
“This is the first recall we have had to issue in 37 years in business,” company officials said in a notice on the Loki Fish website.
“Listeria is a naturally occurring bacteria that can be present in wild salmon at the time of harvest. The hot smoking process is a control that effectively kills the bacteria with heat, so it is possible that listeria was introduced at the packaging step.”
Loki Fish Co. sent eight samples to an independent lab for testing and will release the rest results for them as soon as they are available, according to the company website.
“The FDA is also conducting testing at the smokehouse which processes and packs our product, and we will have those results early next week,” according to the Thursday statement.
Consumers who have purchased the identified product are urged not to consume and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund, according to the recall notice the company filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Consumers with questions can contact the company directly at 206-937-1048 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST.
“As a family owned fishing business that direct markets our catch, nothing is more important to us than the safety of the products we sell,” Loki Fish Co. general manager Dylan Knutson said in the notice on the FDA website.
“We have ordered additional tests to make sure we isolate the contamination and fully understand its cause. As soon as we have additional information, we will share it with the public as well as with the FDA and WSDA.”
Listeria monocytogenes is a microscopic organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)© Food Safety News