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Botulism scare prompts herring recall


ALBANY—State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker has issued an alert to consumers that Brighton Bazaar Inc. of Brooklyn is recalling Treknas Atlantic Herring.
The product was found to be uneviscerated and has the potential to be contaminated with clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that can cause life-threatening illness or death.
Consumers are warned not to eat the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled, according to a press release from the commissioner.
The recalled Treknas Atlantic Herring is packaged in a round plastic container with a net weight of 1.3 kg and was sold in New York State.
A state Department of Agriculture and Markets food inspector discovered the herring problem during a routine inspection and subsequent analysis of product by the state Food Lab confirmed the fish was not eviscerated prior to processing.
The sale of uneviscerated processed fish is prohibited under 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 processed fish have been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning, which is 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.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

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