US FDA issues warnings over illegally harvested oysters from Seaview Fisheries, allergens in Raw Seafoods salmon burgers

Mar Seafood's Blue Point Oysters.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that raw oysters distributed to restaurants and retailers in several U.S. states were illegally harvested and may be contaminated by pathogens.

On 17 November, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture/Bureau of Aquaculture informed the FDA of a recall of oysters illegally harvested from Milford Approved Area on 12 November and 15 November by certified dealer Seaview Fisheries, LLC, CT-084-SS, AQ.

The oysters, labeled as lots L466B and 466A, were distributed directly to Mar Seafood, which is recalling Blue Point Oysters in 50-count and 100-count bags. The original shipper number is CT84SS, and the shellfish tags list the harvest location as L466B Milford CT, with a harvest date of 12 November 2023.

Warwick, Rhode Island-based Mar Seafood distributed the oysters to a distributor and retailers in the U.S. states of Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and the oysters may have been distributed beyond those states as well, the FDA said. It advises consumers not to eat, and restaurants and food retailers not to sell and to dispose of the oysters. 

“Oysters harvested illegally may be contaminated with human pathogens, toxic elements, or poisonous or deleterious substances and can cause illness if consumed,” the agency said.

In September, the FDA also advised consumers not to eat – and restaurants and food retailers not to sell – oysters harvested from the Groton approved area in Connecticut from 28 August through 30 August from dealers CT-393-SS, AQ, CT-004-SS, AQ, and CT-020-SS, AQ with lots, L-30 and L-26B1. Sample results from those dealers and lots showed potential contamination of E.coli and salmonella, the FDA said. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Aquaculture initiated an emergency precautionary closure of two approved harvest areas and a recall on 31 August.

The oysters were directly distributed to retailers and distributors in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. All of the impacted commercial harvesters agreed to voluntarily recall products harvested from the area, the FDA said.

On 16 November, the FDA issued a separate advisory that Fall River, Massachusetts, U.S.A.-based Raw Seafoods had recalled its Farm Raised Lightly Seasoned Atlantic Salmon Burgers due to undeclared sesame and milk allergens.

The recalled product was sold in the seafood department of Whole Foods Market stores nationwide from 25 August through 15 November 2023. The product was sold from the seafood service case wrapped in paper or prepackaged in clear trays displaying PLU 56228, but only products with sell-by dates between 11 September and 19 November 2023 are at risk, according to the FDA.

“The problem was discovered after a vendor reported visible sesame seeds present on the product,” the FDA said. “An investigation is currently underway to discover the cause. No illnesses have been reported to date.”

Whole Foods is offering a refund to all customers who can show proof of purchase with a valid receipt.

“Raw Seafoods, Inc. is taking the necessary steps to address this issue and apologizes for any inconvenience caused,” the FDA said. “This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

Separately, on 7 November, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a recall covering 150-gram squeezable containers of shrimp paste due to undeclared egg and soy. The product, which carried no brand name, was distributed in British Columbia, Canada.

Photo courtesy of Mar Seafood


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