The Food and Drug Administration has warned about particular scallops harvested from prohibited water that may be contaminated.

The scallops were purchased by restaurants, distributors, and food retailers in Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania and may have been further distributed. According to the FDA, Intershell International Corp. received whole, live scallops from an unlicensed harvester and are believed to have been harvested from prohibited waters in Massachusetts and incorrectly labeled as harvest location FED 514. The implicated scallops have harvest dates of Dec. 26, 2023, Dec. 27, 2023, and Jan. 4, 2024, but may still be on hand at purchasers’ locations.

“Scallops harvested from prohibited waters may be contaminated with human pathogens, toxic elements or poisonous or deleterious substances and can cause illness if consumed,” according to the FDA warming. 

“Scallops are filter feeders that remove and bioaccumulate bacteria and other pathogens from the water. It is not uncommon for shellfish to be consumed raw and whole. Contaminated scallops can cause illness if eaten raw and whole or with viscera or roe attached, particularly in people with compromised immune systems. Scallops contaminated with pathogens may look, smell, and taste normal.”

On Jan. 9, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health provided the FDA notice of recall initiated by Intershell International Corp. for certain live scallops received from an unlicensed harvester.

People can get sick with food poisoning after ingesting pathogens, toxic elements, or poisonous or deleterious substances. According to the FDA, symptoms may vary, depending on the pathogen or contaminant, and can range from mild to severe. 

The most common symptoms of food poisoning are diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Symptoms may start within a few hours or take a few days and can last for a few hours or several days. 

Consumers of the implicated scallops experiencing food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting, or fever should contact their healthcare provider, who should report their symptoms to their local Health Department.

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