Cold-smoked salmon recalled due to botulism threat

HANCOCK, Maine -- Mill Stream Corp. (Sullivan Harbor Farm) is voluntarily recalling 10 lots of cold-smoked salmon because it has the potential to be contaminated with clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death.

Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause general weakness, dizziness, double-vision, and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension, and constipation may also be common symptoms.

People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

No illnesses have been reported to date, officials said Wednesday, Nov. 6.

According to an FDA news release, 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.

The recalled product was sold between March 6, 2019, and September 17, 2019, in vacuum-sealed packages in the following sizes: whole salmon side, 2 pounds, 1 pound, 8 ounces, and 4 ounces.  The affected product is marked with the following lot numbers marked on the back of the packages: 7049, 7050, 7051, 7052, 7054, 7056, 7058, 7060, 7062, 7066.

The smoked salmon products were sold and distributed 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, Texas. The products sold were through retail, wholesale and online orders.

The affected product was sold frozen by Mill Stream Corp, but may have been thawed by retailers before sale. Consumers who purchased the product frozen are advised to keep it frozen until ready to use and thaw under refrigeration immediately before use. If a consumer has refrigerated products subject to the recall, they should dispose of it immediately even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 207-266-0621.