On October 9, 2015, Skipanon Brand Seafoods LLC issued a voluntary recall of all of its seafood products due to potential contamination that could cause botulism. Skipanon provides canning services for other seafood companies, and 16 more recalls followed. Botulism is a potentially fatal form of food poisoning. Fortunately, there have been no reported illnesses and no toxins have been detected in the products. The problem that Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors found was a lack of documentation in the process records.
From October 9, 2015, through November 10, 2015, 17 recalls were issued:
- Skipanon Brand Seafoods – all lots and sizes
- Ecola Seafoods – canned salmon and tuna
- Garibaldi Cannery – canned salmon and tuna
- Pacific Oyster Company – canned salmon, tuna, and smoked salmon
- Bornstein Seafood – all canned seafood, including brands Bornstein Seafoods, Krooke’s, and Logger’s Choice
- Brigham Fish Market – canned chinook salmon
- Northwest Wild Products – black cod, razor clams, salmon, sardines, sturgeon, and tuna
- Dungeness Seaworks – canned tuna
- The Spot – all canned seafood
- Vis Seafoods – canned salmon
- Josephson’s Smokehouse – canned salmon, sturgeon, and tuna
- Gilmore Fish – canned sturgeon and salmon
- OleBob’s Seafoods – canned tuna and salmon
- Sockeye Suzy’s – all canned seafood
- CSFPDX – 64 ounce cans of wild albacore tuna
- Farmer Creek – canned albacore tuna
- Old Oregon Smokehouse – canned albacore tuna
According to an ODA representative, Skipanon will not be allowed to process seafood until it is in full compliance with state regulations. Once that happens, it may only be able to ship food within the state of Oregon until the FDA completes its inspection.
The canned seafood was recalled because it may have been under processed, and that could allow for contamination with a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. The bacterium produce a nerve toxin which causes muscle paralysis. Symptoms can appear as early as six hours and as late as 10 days after eating contaminated food, but most commonly begin 18 to 36 hours after ingestion. Symptoms of botulism include:
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Drooping eyelids
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness
Left untreated, the paralysis can progress to affect the arms, legs, trunk, and respiratory muscles. That is how it becomes deadly. When it paralyzes the respiratory muscles, victims die of respiratory failure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 3%-5% of botulism patients die today, as opposed to 50% 50 years ago. But those who survive can suffer from fatigue and shortness of breath for years after recovery. Botulism treatment can include spending months on a ventilator in a hospital or nursing home.
If you have been harmed by canned seafood, please talk to an experienced food recall attorney right away to learn more about your rights.
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