Thursday, April 14, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Ready-to-eat smoked salmon and other seafood products that may contain the bacteria listeria were recalled from distribution in the eastern United States, officials said Wednesday.
No illnesses have been reported from the products by SeaSpecialties Inc., also known as Florida Smoked Fish Co., the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said.
The products were mostly distributed along the East Coast, said David Sheon, a spokesman for the company. They were sent to wholesalers, retailers, restaurants and cruise ships, the Agriculture Department said.
The bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes, cause a potentially fatal disease that primarily affects pregnant women, newborns and adults with weak immune systems.
Other people may suffer symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women, or the baby may be born with listeriosis.
The recall comes after SeaSpecialties was accused by the government earlier this month of violating health codes and distributing fish contaminated with listeria. The federal lawsuit claimed the company failed to heed years of warnings that their processing methods were unsanitary and that the fish were sometimes contaminated.
The company has decided to settle the lawsuit, Sheon said; he declined to discuss details. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami didn’t return a call seeking comment Wednesday.
Production and distribution of all smoked fish products from the Miami plant were halted, the company said.
The products recalled and their batch numbers are listed on the Florida Agriculture Department Web site, http://www.doacs.state.fl.us