Food & Drink

Watch what you put on your bagel — this fish has a botulism risk

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There's a water phase salt problem with one lot of Gerard & Dominique Seafoods Cold Smoked Wild Coho Salmon Lox that could allow botulism to flourish, leading to a recall on Wednesday.

"Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body’s nerves," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains. "Symptoms of botulism usually start with weakness of the muscles that control the eyes, face, mouth, and throat. This weakness may spread to the neck, arms, torso, and legs. Botulism also can weaken the muscles involved in breathing, which can lead to difficulty breathing and even death."

Gerard & Dominique Wild smoked salmon lox

This concerns lot No. CSCO-17339 with a pack date of 17-340. Those designations can be found on the 3-ounce packages. The lot went to distributors in California, Maryland and Washington from Dec. 8, 2017, and April 10, then to retail locations in those states and others beyond that.

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The lot codes, packign dates and storage directions FDA

The problem, as the company-written, FDA-posted recall notice explains, is the water phase salt testing is below 3.5 percent.

"Labeling instructions state to freeze or refrigerate, once thawed they can be kept unopened in the fridge for up to 30 days," the notice states. "Because the water phase salt is under 3.5 percent the product must remain frozen until ready to consume. Keeping in the refrigerator after thawing in a reduced oxygen package has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum."

The company asks consumers with any thawed product from this lot in their refrigerators to throw it out. Only use it immediately after refrigerator thawing.

Anyone with questions can call Seabear Company at 800-338-9903, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern time.