Smoked Salmon Sold in 23 States Recalled Over Botulism Fears
Salmon lovers in more than 20 states had better check their refrigerators.
Mill Stream Corp. is recalling 10 lots of Cold Smoked Salmon because they might be contaminated with a potentially deadly bacterium, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Wednesday.
"Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled," the recall notice said.
Mill Stream Corp. (Sullivan Harbor Farm) Issues a Voluntary Recall of Cold Smoked Salmon Because of Possible Health… https://t.co/wQvTc0mfDs— U.S. FDA (@U.S. FDA)1573153842.0
The Maine-based company is recalling the salmon because it could become contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism. Botulism occurs because the bacteria make spores that help them survive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explained.
"The spores usually do not cause people to become sick, even when they're eaten. But under certain conditions, these spores can grow and make one of the most lethal toxins known," the CDC said.
Those conditions include low oxygen, low acid, low sugar, a certain temperature range, a certain amount of water and low salt. It seems like a combination of the last three is what caused the potential problem with the salmon, as the recall notice explained:
The recall was initiated because the product's water phase salt (WPS) tested below 3.5%. This was discovered upon re-review of laboratory certificates, which were found to have incorrectly reported WPS levels. Labeling instructions state to keep refrigerated at or below 38ºF and that the product may be frozen. Because the WPS is under 3.5% the product must remain frozen until ready to consume. Product stored in the refrigerator after thawing has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.
Water phase salt (WPS) measures the amount of salt relative to moisture in the fish, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. Salt helps to keep moisture out of the fish, which reduces bacteria growth.
"The combination of refrigeration temperatures and prescribed salt levels offer a high degree of assurance that bacterial growth will be retarded," the centre explained.
Mill Stream Corp. said it froze the salmon before distribution, but retailers may have thawed it before selling it.
"Consumers who purchased the product frozen are advised to keep it frozen until ready to use and thaw under refrigeration immediately before use," the recall notice advised. "If a consumer has refrigerated product subject to the recall, they should dispose of it immediately even if it does not look or smell spoiled."
The recalled salmon was sold between March 6 and Sept. 17, 2019 in whole salmon side, two pound, one pound, eight ounce and four ounce vacuum-sealed packages. The packages had the following lot numbers on the back: 7049, 7050, 7051, 7052, 7054, 7056, 7058, 7060, 7062 and 7066.
It was sold and distributed wholesale, online and to retail stores in Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, Iowa, Tennessee, Minnesota, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, Wisconsin, Washington, Georgia, Illinois, Virginia, Michigan and Texas, Newsweek reported.
The symptoms of botulism include weakness, dizziness, double vision and difficulty speaking or swallowing, the FDA said. According to the CDC, botulism can ultimately cause difficulty breathing, paralysis and even death. No one has been sickened by the salmon to date, but anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention.
Around 200 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with botulism every year, Newsweek reported. Most have to be hospitalized, but, if they receive proper medical attention, fewer than five in 100 patients die from the disease.
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By Naomi Larsson
For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.
Biodiversity and Habitat Loss<p>Their near extinction is a symbol of the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/global-biodiversity-outlook-targets-extinction-summit-new-york-pledge/a-54932895" target="_blank">biodiversity crisis</a> in the UK, largely driven by habitat destruction. Britain is now one of the countries with the most <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/future-of-UK-nature#:~:text=The%20UK%20is%20one%20of,than%20half%20are%20in%20decline" target="_blank">depleted nature</a> in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. Half its plant and animal species are in decline and more than <a href="https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/let-nature-sing-wales/#:~:text=a%20natural%20tragedy.-,Over%2040%20million%20birds%20have%20vanished%20from%20UK%20skies%20in,unaware%20of%20the%20impending%20danger" target="_blank">40 million birds</a> have vanished in just half a century.</p><p>"[Turtle doves] are the canary in the [coal] mine because there are all these other species before it and after it," said Tree. "It's an umbrella for all the other species that are heading that way."</p><p>Turtle doves migrate south through Europe to sub-Saharan Africa between July and September, ending up in dry woodland and farmland areas of countries like Mali and Senegal for winter. </p><p>Droughts in West Africa and the Sahel region are believed to have contributed to the fall in turtle dove species recorded in northern Europe, with low rainfall reducing supplies of the seeds and insects the birds rely on for energy for the long journey home.</p>
Conservation and Farming<p><a href="https://www.operationturtledove.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Operation Turtle Dove,</a> a partnership project of charities including the Essex Wildlife trust, works with landowners and farmers to actively build turtle dove habitat.</p><p>Outten works with <a href="https://www.ebws.org.uk/birdsites/blue-house-farm-ewt-north-fambridge" target="_blank">Blue House Farm</a>, a 660-acre nature reserve in the UK county of Essex, where they have replicated weedy fallow plots. </p><p>"We work on it every year to make sure it's in the condition it needs to be with plants such as clovers and black medic," Outten said. "These plants are native to the landscape and produce the seed the birds feed on." </p><p>The birds eat a wide range of seeds from various plants that would have been abundant 50 or 100 years ago, added Guy Anderson, program manager for species recovery with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). </p><p>"But it's simply true that with the gradual process of <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/farming-without-pesticides-how-can-we-make-agriculture-greener/a-52216796" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">intensifying our agricultural production</a>, the availability of those seeds has dropped and dropped," said Anderson.</p><p>Part of the project includes supplementary feeding — providing sources of food in the form of seed or grain. Under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England, farmers can receive financial support to create a turtle dove habitat. </p><p>Though they haven't recorded an increase in doves across the sites in the four years of working on the project, Outten said they are seeing improvements in how landowners and farmers manage habitat for the birds. </p>
A Turtle Dove Haven<p>The 3,500-acre Knepp Estate in West Sussex is another project taking a different approach and one of the few places where turtle dove numbers are increasing.</p><p>Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell converted their intensively farmed land into a rewilding project almost 20 years ago. They have let the land return to nature.</p><p>Just one year after they'd finished <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/uks-most-talented-architects-are-not-human/a-35952128" target="_blank">rewilding</a> the southern part of their property, they heard turtle doves for the first time. It's now a breeding hotspot for the birds with an estimated 19 pairs. Knepp is also home to <a href="https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/rewilding-projects/knepp-estate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2% of the UK's population</a> of nightingales. </p><p>Tree is critical of supplementary feeding schemes that, in her view, are short term. She questions the chances of turtle doves getting to feed on scattered seeds before other mammals eat them first.</p>
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