California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director Dr. Ron Chapman warned consumers today not to eat True Taste brand smoked fish products because they may have been improperly produced, making them susceptible to contamination with Clostridium botulinum. Ingestion of botulism toxin from improperly processed jarred and canned foods may lead to serious illness and death. No illnesses have been linked to any of the affected products.
True Taste, LLC, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, is voluntarily recalling all production dates beginning January 1, 2012, of the following varieties of True Taste brand smoked fish: Hot Smoked Rainbow Trout, Hot Smoked Whitefish, Hot Smoked Herring, Hot Smoked Mackerel, Hot Smoked Salmon Steak, Cold Smoked Mackerel and Cold Smoked Whitefish. The product labels contain a white sticker with two sets of numbers. The first number indicates the processing date; for example, “110512” (Photo of Product Labels and Date Coding).
CDPH is working with the manufacturer and distributors to identify the specific distribution of the recalled fish; however, CDPH has been able to confirm that some of the product was offered for sale through Southern California Albertson’s stores. Consumers in possession of the recalled products should discard them in the trash.
Botulism toxin is odorless and colorless. Botulism is a rare but serious paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The initial symptoms frequently experienced are double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, and dry or sore throat. Progressive descending paralysis, usually symmetrical, may follow. Additional symptoms may include slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, inability of the neck muscles to support the head; paralysis of the extremities and respiratory muscles may occur. Infants with botulism appear lethargic, feed poorly, are constipated, have a weak cry, and poor muscle tone.
Consumers with any of these symptons should contact their health care provider. For more information, click on botulism. Consumers that observe the product being offered for sale are encouraged to report their findings to the CDPH toll-free complaint line at (800) 495-3232.