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Food Poison Journal Food Poisoning Outbreaks and Litigation: Surveillance and Analysis

Botulism Risk in Smoked Fish Prompts Recall

True Taste, LLC of Kenosha, WI, is recalling it’s vacuum packaged Hot Smoked Rainbow Trout, Hot Smoked Whitefish, Hot Smoked Herring, Hot Smoked Mackerel, Hot Smoked Salmon Steak, Cold Smoked Mackerel, and Cold Smoked Whitefish because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life- threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

The recalled product is vacuum packaged and can be identified with either the True Taste Label in CA and IL or the Lowell Foods Label in IL. The recalled product has a white sticker applied to the package with two sets of numbers. The first set of numbers represent the date of processing the second set of numbers represents the best if used by date. This recall includes all production dates beginning on 01/01/2012 through current.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this recall.

The potential for contamination was identified after routine samples collected by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection found that the product did not meet the 3.5% minimum requirement for water phase salt. The sample analysis reported water phase salt concentrations of 2.2% (hot smoked white fish); 3.0% (hot smoked herring); and 3.4% (hot smoked rainbow trout).

Consumers that may still have packages of the recalled smoked fish in their homes should not consume the product and are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

True Taste LLC has voluntarily halted production and is cooperating fully with the involved regulatory authorities. This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.