Smoked Salmon Recall: Risk of Listeria Infection

Imperial-European style smoked salmon distributed under the “I ♥ NY” brand to wholesale distributors throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois has been recalled due to a risk that it may be contaminated with bacteria that could cause a life-threatening listeria infection.

The smoked salmon recall was issued by NY Fish, Inc. on June 5, 2009, and notice of the action was posted by the FDA on their website yesterday. Although there have been no reported incidents of illness, consumers have ben urged to not consume any of the fish.

Samples of the I “Heart” New York smoked salmon were found to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes during an FDA inspection of the facility, leading to a recall of all lots that begin with “code 142”.

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Listeria monocytogenes is a potentially deadly type of bacteria that infects the gastrointestinal tract. Listeria infections, also known as listeriosis, can pose a particular risk for children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. For pregnant women, illness from Listeria bacteria can cause miscarriages and still births. The fatality rate associated with Listeria infections is about 25%.

Health officials report that there are about that about 2,500 Listeriosis cases are reported each year. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely, and AIDS patients are 300 times more likely, to be affected than healthy adults. Listeria contamination of packaged foods is often linked to negligence in manufacturing, packaging, preparation or handling of food products.

Blood tests are usually required to diagnose Listeriosis, which can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of Listeriosis include:

  • Muscle ache
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea and Diarrhea
  • Severe Headache
  • Fever

The recall applies to I ♥ NY Fish brand Imperial-European Style Smoked Salmon in vacuum packed 3 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz and whole side “to be weighed at time of sale” sizes. The fish is sliced or sold as whole sides on aluminum-coated cardboard, wrapped in clear plastic vacuum-sealed packaging. It has a gold sticker with gold lettering and a small white sticker that identifoies the lot code.


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