FDA has warned retailers and food service operators that they should not offer for sale ungutted, salt-cured alewives, or gaspereaux fish, that were imported from New Brunswick, Canada. The ungutted fish may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, and should not be consumed.
The fish were produced by Michel & Charles LeBlanc Fisheries, Ltd., Cap-Pelé, New Brunswick, imported into the United States, and shipped to the following four Florida distributors:
- Quirch Foods Inc.
- Den-Mar Exports LLC
- Dolphin Fisheries Inc.
- Labrador & Son Food Products Inc.
The fish were packed in 30-pound, white plastic pails with green plastic lids. The pails are labeled with the producers name, and the phrase "Product of Canada." Some of the fish may have been removed from the pails and repacked or sold loose.
FDA considers that ungutted fish that are more than five inches long and are salted, dried or smoked, represent a risk to consumers. These products are treated by FDA as adulterated, and are not permitted to be sold in the United States.
The US government took this position as a result of several cases of botulism that were traced to uneviscerated fish in the 1980s and again in 1992.
The agency urges consumers who have purchased this type of fish to contact the retailer in order to determine the origin of the fish. If there is any doubt, consumers should either return the fish to the retailer or discard it.