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

Food Safety Alert

October 12, 2010

Jessica Ziehm

Possible Botulism Contamination In “Dried Vobla Fish (Astrakhanskaya)”

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today warned consumers not to eat "Dried Vobla Fish (Astrakhanskaya)” sold by Ocean Side Pharmacy Inc., Brooklyn, New York 11224, because the product was found to be uneviscerated.
The “Dried Vobla Fish (Astrakhanskaya)” was sold from the above retail store to consumers in the NYC Metro area and to two wholesale accounts, one in California and one in Massachusetts.  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 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 “Dried Vobla Fish (Astrakhanskaya)” 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