Recalls of imported catfish continue in the United States as some importers say they are unaware that the United States Department of Agriculture is now overseeing catfish imports.
In the latest case, Premium Foods USA in Woodside, New York, is recalling approximately 76,025 pounds of various frozen catfish products that were not presented for import re-inspection into the U.S, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a press release.
Additionally, the products were imported from Bangladesh and Myanmar, countries ineligible to export Siluriformes (catfish) to the U.S., according to FSIS.
Recalled products include: Shahjalal There is no Equal Long Whiskered Fish/AYRE (Sperata oar), Shahjalal There is no Equal Yellowtail Catfish/PANGASH (Pangasius pangasius), Shahjalal FRESH WATER FISH AYRE (Sperata aor), Shahjalal Bangladeshi Fresh Water Fish (Bacha) Catfish (Wr) Eutropiichthys vacha, and Shahjalal Bangladeshi Fresh Water Fish (Magur) Philippine catfish (CIn) Clarias batrachus.
Premium imported the recalled items from Bangladesh and Myanmar from 26 March, 2018, through 8 March, 2019. They were shipped to retail locations in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
The problem was discovered during routine FSIS surveillance activities of imported products.
"There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products,” FSIS said.
However, the agency is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. “These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase,” FSIS added.
Consumers with questions about the recall can contact KM Chowdhury, manager of Premium Foods at [email protected].
SeafoodSource has chronicled numerous catfish recalls since the beginning of this year, including City of Industry, California-based Richwell Group, Inc., doing business as Maxfield Seafood, which recalled 154,560 pounds of Vietnamese catfish in late May.
Richwell imported the fish in February, and it was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration without incident, Jae Hwang, seafood operations manager for Maxfield, told SeafoodSource.
“However, siluriformes items are part of the catfish family, now subject to USDA inspection in recent years (like swai fish). In addition, our customs broker was not aware of the recent changes and failed to inform us of the necessity of inspection by USDA - FSIS under the new law,” Hwang said.
Maxfield Seafood is just one of several importers that have been forced to recall catfish products this year due to confusion over the USDA now inspecting catfish imports. Moreover, importers are unaware that the USDA considers certain fish species as catfish.
Image coutesy of the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)