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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

More Cold Smoked Salmon with Listeria and Reasons Why

As precautionary measure, Delifish has decided to expand the voluntary recall to include cold smoked products related to Julian dates 235 to 345, the previous voluntary recall included cold smoked products related to Julian dates 249- 291. There have been no new detections on products placed on the market in relation to this expansion.

The expansion means that all cold smoked products that have been produced in the same period as the product type which initially tested positive in the U.S.A. are now voluntarily recalled. The decision is taken in agreement with the FDA and is carried out as a precautionary measure.

There have been no complaints or illnesses reported. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Product was possibly distributed in the CA, NC, VA, OH, MA, IL, FL, GA, TX, DE, NJ, NY, PA, WA and Puerto Rico and reached consumers through retail stores.  The voluntary recall is carried out as a precautionary measure in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is based on Listeria detection in a few of the recalled batches.

There have been a few recalls in the last few months:

More Salmon Recalled Due to Listeria

Cold Smoked Salmon Recalled Due to Listeria Risk

Walmart Recalls Smoked Salmon Due to Listeria Risk

WA, OR, CA, AZ, TX, CO, MA, NH, CT, RI, NJ, and NY Recalls Listeria Salmon

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Recalled Due to Listeria

Listeria Illnesses: Spence & Co., Smoked Salmon

According to Colorado State University, like other ready-to-eat meats, the organism of concern for cold smoked salmon is Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis is a severe but uncommon infection caused by Listeria monocytogenes and has been a nationally notifiable disease since 2000. Listeriosis is primarily foodborne and occurs most frequently among persons who are older, pregnant, or immunocompromised. The reduction of L. monocytogenes to the lowest possible levels must rely on prerequisite programs adhering strictly to Good Hygienic Practices (GHPs) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Focus must be on education of staff, cleaning and sanitation, redesign of equipment, and proper flow and separation in the processing plant. The prevalence of L. monocytogenes can be dramatically reduced in a smoke house by strictly adhering to GMPs and targeting spots where the organism had been found to reside with appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures. Special attention to brining, injection needles and slicing equipment must be a priority. Other methods of preservation that have been found to inhibit L. monocytogenes include the following: 1) Extended frozen storage; 2) Carbon dioxide; 3) Nitrite; 4) Lactate; 5) Sorbate; 6) Bacteriocins; 7) Background microflora; and 8) High Pressure Processing.

Cold smoked salmon is considered safe for healthy, non-immune compromised persons; however, as with other raw or semi-raw meat products, it is risky for pregnant women, the frail elderly and others with compromised immune systems due to disease or medical therapy. Many countries, including the U.S., recommend these groups avoid cold smoked fish. The shelf life of smoked salmon is very short, one to two weeks in the refrigerator and about one month in the freezer. Storage time is another critical factor in the proliferation of L. monocytogenes.