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

Food Safety Alert

September 24, 2010

Jessica Ziehm

Possible Botulism Contamination in “Dried Fish”

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today warned consumers not to eat “Dried Fish” sold by Heng Yen Food Inc., New York, New York and by K&S Market Inc., Brooklyn, New York, because the product was found to be uneviscerated and has the potential to be contaminated with clostridium botulinum spores, which can cause Botulism. Consumers are warned not to consume the product, even if it does not look or smell spoiled. The “Dried Fish” was sold from the above two retail stores in the New York City metropolitan area. The product was offered for sale at ambient temperature as an unpackaged, uncoded bulk item. Uneviscerated processed 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, 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 “Dried Fish” 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.

2010 Consumer Alerts