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

Food Safety Alert

May 21, 2008

Jessica A. Chittenden

Consumer Alert - Possible Botulism Contamination in “Smoked Kuta Fish and Boney Fish (Herring)”

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today warned consumers not to eat "Smoked Kuta Fish and Boney Fish (Herring)” sold by the African Carribean Market located at 1415 N. Clinton Ave., Rochester, New York 14621, because the product was uneviscerated.

The “Smoked Kuta Fish and Boney Fish (Herring)” was sold in the Rochester and Syracuse area, and was offered for sale refrigerated, in un-coded, unlabeled polybags.

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 Kuta Fish and Boney Fish (Herring)” 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