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

Food Safety Alert

February 25, 2009

Jessica A. Chittenden

Possible Botulism Contamination in Steamed Mackerel

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today warned consumers not to eat "Steamed Mackerel" distributed by the Gusto Food Inc., located at 51-09 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, New York 11378, because the product was uneviscerated.

The "Steamed Mackerel" was sold in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Ohio and Michigan in uncoded, half pound, plastic bags. The label indicates "Steamed Mackerel" is a product of Thailand.

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

Because the fish is uneviscerated, the product may be come 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 "Steamed Mackerel" was sampled by a New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets food inspector during a routine inspection. 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.

2009 Consumer Alerts