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Salmon recalled in 23 states because of danger of botulism poisoning UPDATE

daveomak.fs

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frozen smoked salmon
Photo illustration
Salmon recalled in 23 states because of danger of botulism poisoning

By News Desk on November 7, 2019

Following laboratory tests, a Maine company is recalling cold smoked salmon because of a risk of botulism poisoning. Mill Stream Corp. shipped the fish to 23 states and sold it online.
“The recall was initiated because the product’s water phase salt (WPS) tested below 3.5 percent. This was discovered upon re-review of laboratory certificates, which were found to have incorrectly reported WPS levels,” according to the company’s recall notice posted on the Food and Drug Administration website.
Although no illnesses had been reported as of the posting of the recall notice, the company warned consumers to not use the recalled Sullivan Harbor Farm cold smoked salmon “even if it does not look or smell spoiled.”
Because of the improper water phase salt level the fish has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death in the form of botulism poisoning.
Mill Stream Corp. sold the salmon frozen, but some retailers may have thawed it, increasing the danger.
“Labeling instructions state to keep refrigerated at or below 38 degrees F and that the product may be frozen. Because the WPS is under 3.5 percent the product must remain frozen until ready to consume. Product stored in the refrigerator after thawing has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum,” according to the recall notice.
“If a consumer has refrigerated product subject to the recall, they should dispose of it immediately even if it does not look or smell spoiled.”
The company did not provide photos of the salmon products or labels with the recall notice.
The recalled fish was sold between March 6 and Sept. 17 in vacuum sealed packages in the following sizes: whole salmon side, 2 lb., 1 lb., 8 oz., and 4 oz. The affected product is marked with the following lot numbers marked on the back of the packages:
  • 7049
  • 7050
  • 7051
  • 7052
  • 7054
  • 7056
  • 7058
  • 7060
  • 7062
  • 7066
The smoked salmon was sold and distributed in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, Iowa, Tennessee, Minnesota, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington, Georgia, Illinois, Virginia, Mississippi and Texas. The products sold were through retail, wholesale and online orders.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at 207-266-0621
About botulism
While a variety of illnesses can result from eating under-processed food, one of the most dangerous is botulism poisoning. Untreated, botulism can paralyze the muscles needed for breathing, resulting in sudden death.
Anyone who has eaten any recalled products and developed signs of botulism poisoning should immediately seek medical attention, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. However, symptoms can begin as soon as 6 hours after or up to 10 days later,” according to the CDC website.
The symptoms of botulism may include some of all of the following: double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, a thick-feeling tongue, dry mouth, and muscle weakness. People with botulism poisoning may not show all of these symptoms at once.
These symptoms result from muscle paralysis caused by the toxin. If untreated, the disease may progress, and symptoms may worsen to cause paralysis of specific muscles, including those used in breathing and those in the arms, legs, and the body from the neck to the pelvis area.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)
 
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sawhorseray

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Kind of make me happy about cold-smoking my own lox last week. Geez, that stuff was all across the country for seven months. I checked out their website after seeing, they sell omline and have a retail shop. I wonder how many folks paid $45 a pound to get sick? Thanks for posting Dave. RAY
 

daveomak

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Ray, are you adding cure#1 to your fish yet ??
 

sawhorseray

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Absolutely Dave, I followed Smokin' Al's recipe. I weigh out Cure #1 on a gold scale, to 1/10 of a grain. RAY
 

daveomak

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Sure seems like botulism has been reported or suspected or possible in fish a lot lately...
 

sawhorseray

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When I first got into sausage making I got Rytec Kutas' book, the little section about what it's like to die from botulism made a lasting impression. We can never be too careful. RAY
 

daveomak

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I have Kutas First Edition... No section on botulism... Darn... It would be interesting to see what he thinks and says.....
 

atomicsmoke

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No need to throw the baby out with the bath water. There is no botulism contamination reported, only botulism contamination risk...big difference. A commercial operation has rules to abide by - thus the recall.

From what i've seen a lot of folks here use less than 3.5% salt in their cold smoked salmon. Knowingly. And no cure.
In fact , in lab condition botulism spores were capable to germinate in up to 10% salt content. To make matters worse Type E botulism, present in fish, can germinate at fridge temps.

Fortunately for us those spores don't germinate easily.

Wear a seat belt, get the flu shot.
 

dr k

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Sugaring also procreates lactobacillus, dropping ph. I smoke , ramping 150-175 to 120 IT. I hope the salting and sugaring lowers water activity and ph so 120 IT is where it's inbetween lox and flaking. I got it from Thermoworks blog.
 

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