Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner

Food Safety Alert

March 22, 2007

Jessica A. Chittenden

Possible Botulism Contamination in Uneviscerated “Smoked Sardines”


Possible Botulism Contamination in Uneviscerated "Smoked Sardines"

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today warned consumers not to eat "Smoked Sardines" sold by Apholo Shippers & Sari-Sari Store, 65-21B Roosevelt Avenue, Woodside, New York 11377 because the product was processed uneviscerated. The "Smoked Sardines" were sold at the Woodside store. The product was offered for sale refrigerated, in an un-coded, plastic wrapped foam tray. The product label indicates it is distributed by C & K, 485 East 54th Street, Elmwood Park, New Jersey 07407.

The sale of this type of fish is prohibited under New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets regulations because Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish. Uneviscerated processed fish has been linked to outbreaks of Botulism poisoning.

The product may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores, which can cause Botulism, a serious and potentially fatal food-borne illness. Symptoms of Botulism include blurred or double vision, general weakness, poor reflexes, difficulty swallowing and respiratory paralysis.

The "Smoked Sardines" were found by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets food inspectors during a routine inspection of the firm. Subsequent analysis by New York State Food Laboratory personnel confirmed the product to be uneviscerated.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the product. Consumers who have this product are advised not to eat it.

PHOTOGRAPH of the recalled product is available at:

2007 Consumer Alerts