Dry Salted Fish 'bream' may have botulism

Feb. 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- ZIP International Group LLC is recalling Dry Salted Fish -- bream -- because the product may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, U.S. officials say.

Officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium which can cause the muscular paralysis seen in botulism and can be life-threatening or cause death.

Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled, the FDA said.

The recalled product, Dry Salted Fish (bream) was distributed by East Coast Foods Inc. of Brooklyn, N.Y., to retail stores and wholesalers last September.

The recalled product comes in vacuum sealed packaging labeled "Astrakhansky Lesh" -- Dry Salted Fish Eviscerated -- weight 14.2 ounces with a Bar Code 835856001228, a product of Russia.

No illnesses have been reported to date, the FDA said.

The New York Department of Agriculture found during an inspection the fish was not properly gutted prior to processing.

The sale of uneviscerated fish is prohibited under New York State Agriculture and Markets regulations because Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish.

Consumers who have purchased Dry Salted Fish (bream) are advised not to eat it and return it for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company East Coast Foods Inc. at 1-718-371-1113, Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision, trouble with speaking, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, abdominal distension and constipation. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention, the FDA said.

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