Red’s Best chopped clams receive US FDA warning; Lerøy recalls gravlax over listeria concerns; Nissui octopus product recalled in Canada

Nissui's Frozen Baked Wheat Cake with Octopus.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have issued warnings regarding Red’s Best and Nissui seafood products, respectively, and Lerøy Seafood has recalled 160 kilograms of a gravlax product.

The FDA is advising restaurants and retailers not to serve or sell and consumers not to eat certain chopped clams sold by Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based seafood supplier Red’s Best.

According to the U.S. food safety agency, the clams were likely harvested from prohibited waters in  Massachusetts on 25 and 26 November 2023 and distributed to foodservice and retail customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, and potentially other U.S. states. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health informed the FDA of a recall of the products on 11 December.

“Clams harvested from prohibited waters may be contaminated with human pathogens, toxic elements or poisonous, or deleterious substances and can cause illness if consumed,” the FDA said. “Clams are filter feeders that remove and bioaccumulate bacteria and other pathogens from the water. It is not uncommon for shellfish to be consumed raw and whole. Contaminated clams can cause illness if eaten raw, particularly in people with compromised immune systems. Clams contaminated with pathogens may look, smell, and taste normal.”

The clams are labeled as lot numbers # 331 and # 333, with shuck dates of 23/331 and 23/333, a packed-by listing of 13027 ma-sp, and a listed harvest area of mhb4. The product was packed in one-gallon, 8-pound plastic containers with “Red’s Best” printed on the sidewall. Both the lot number and shuck date should be printed on a decal label adhered to either the lid or sidewall of each container, according to the FDA.

The FDA warned of the clams potentially causing diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever due to food poisoning.

“Symptoms may start within a few hours or may take a few days and can last for a few hours or several days. Consumers of these products who are experiencing food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach pain or cramps, nausea, vomiting, or fever should contact their healthcare provider, who should report their symptoms to their local Health Department,” it said.

The FDA warned restaurants and retailers not to serve or sell the potentially contaminated clams.

“Restaurants and retailers should dispose of any products by throwing them in the garbage or returning them to their distributor for destruction,” it said. “Restaurants and retailers should also be aware that shellfish may be a source of pathogens and should control the potential for cross-contamination of food processing equipment and the food processing environment.”

In Norway, Lerøy Seafood has recalled 160 kilograms of a gravlax product due to concern it may be contaminated with listeria.

About 160 kilos of the affected product has been sold to separate Norwegian retailers, according to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and Swedish Food Agency.

The product was sold in bulk to Stanseveien 33, Fjelberg, Vulkanfisk, Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin, Fromagerie, Meny CC Vest, Meny Holmen, Meny Sandvika Storsenter, Meny Høvik, Meny Fornebu, and Meny Røa stores. The packaging for the product varies depending on where it was sold, but has a best-by date of 8 December.

Lerøy said it listeria was detected in one of five control samples taken by the manufacturer, and asked consumers who bought the affected products to discard it.

In November, the Swedish Food Agency traced several cases of listeria in Sweden in 2023 back to smoked salmon products produced by Lerøy Seafood at its Smögen smokehouse. The outbreak, which occurred over the summer, sickened 19 people, and six people with listeriosis died in Swden, though it was unclear whether consuming the tainted salmon was the primary cause of death, as most of the deceased suffered from other severe diseases, according to Food Safety News.

“For Leröy Smögen Seafood, safe and secure food is our priority, and we take this incident very seriously. We are doing everything we can to ensure this does not happen again. We have a good cooperation and dialogue with the Swedish Food Agency,” said a company statement.

Separately, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall of 400-gram and 1-kilogram packages of Nissui Frozen Baked Wheat Cake with Octopus due to undeclared fish on their labels. All products where pollock is not declared on the label have been recalled. The product was distributed across Canada by Wismettac Asian Foods, a subsidiary of Tokyo, Japan-based Nishimoto Wismettac Group, an importer, exporter, wholesaler and distributor of Asian food products.

The recall, issued 24 November, requests Canadian retailers and foodservice operators not use, sell, serve or distribute the products.

Photo courtesy of Canadian Food Inspection Agency


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