FDA: Consumer Tampered With Gorton's Fish Fillets


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
March 18, 2008

The pills a Pennsylvania family reported finding in Gorton's fish fillets were placed in the product after they were purchased from a Giant Food Store.

Gorton's announced on its Web site on March 17 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found in its investigation that the pills, harmless over-the-counter herbal supplements, were "an isolated incident of product tampering that occurred in the consumer's household." The Gloucester, Mass., company also said there's no need to return or dispose of any Gorton's products.

On March 1, Gorton's voluntarily recalled about 1,000 cases of its 6 Crispy Battered Fish Fillets. The product was produced on Oct. 16, 2007, and distributed in 11 states, including Florida, Georgia, Texas, California and Pennsylvania.

In addition to the recall, which equated to a one-shift loss in production, Gorton's received a "fair amount" of refund requests, Judson Reis, the company's VP of marketing, told the York (Pa.) Dispatch.

Gorton's has not yet decided whether to pursue legal action, he added.

The FDA and Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was also involved in the investigation, will not prosecute the case. Authorities told the Dispatch that one of the two children planted the pills.

Tracy Rowan of New Freedom, Pa., called police on Feb. 24 to report both she and her 9-year-old daughter discovered the pills in their mouths as they ate dinner. Rowan, her daughter and her 10-year-old son were examined at a local hospital but were not sickened. The frozen fish fillets were prepared by the daughter. Rowen insisted her children did not tamper with the food.

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