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

Food Safety Alert

March 11, 2008

Jessica A. Chittenden

Consumer Alert - Possible Botulism Contamination in “Smoked Fish Kon Kue (Kuta)”

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today warned consumers not to eat "Smoked Fish Kon Kue (Kuta)" sold by the Efoe Afrikan & W India Store located at 502 Franklin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 because the product was uneviscerated. The "Smoked Fish Kon Kue (Kuta)" was sold at the Brooklyn store, and was offered for sale frozen, in un-coded, unlabeled plastic bags.

Uneviscerated 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 fish has been linked to outbreaks of Botulism poisoning.

Because the fish is uneviscerated, 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 Fish Kon Kue (Kuta)" was 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.

2008 Consumer Alerts