Saturday, August 16, 2008

FDA Warns Against Consuming Bantry Bay Mussels

The UK Food Standards Agency advised in early May that certain batches of frozen mussels processed by Bantry Bay Seafoods Ltd. – an Irish company – should not be consumed due to the presence of azaspiracid shellfish poisoning toxin, a naturally-occurring marine biotoxin. The warning was expanded at the end of May to include one additional batch of mussels.

It now appears that some of those mussels have traveled to the United States. FDA reported yesterday evening that two people in Washington state became ill last month after eating Bantry Bay Mussels in a Garlic Butter Sauce. Tests carried out by the agency on samples from the same production lot revealed the presence of azaspiracid toxin in the product.

Consequently, FDA is advising consumers across the United States to check their freezers and discard the following 1-pound cardboard packages of Bantry Bay mussels with "Best Before End" dates of January 23, 2009 to November 15, 2009. FDA also has asked retailers and food service operators to look for and discard any of the affected products.
  • Mussels in a Garlic Butter Sauce
  • Mussels in White Wine Sauce
  • Mussels in Tomato and Garlic Sauce
According to FDA, the toxins are odorless, tasteless and resistant to both freezing and heating – even boiling. Ingesting the toxin may result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

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