U.S – Mariscos Bahia Inc., a family-owned producer, and distributor of meat products has recalled over 300,000 pounds of salmon, halibut, seabass, tuna, and swordfish because of possible Salmonella contamination.
The products were distributed to 179 retail customers located in Arizona and California, primarily to restaurants.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the recall was initiated on Oct. 20 after it identified a link between the company Marisco Bahia Inc.’s fresh fish products and an ongoing investigation of a multistate Salmonella outbreak.
“Multiple environmental swabs collected at the facility are positive for Salmonella and subsequent Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) analysis is ongoing. The WGS completed to date indicates the Salmonella detected in at least one of the swabs from the facility matches the outbreak strain.
“While epidemiological evidence indicates that ill people consumed fresh, raw salmon processed at this firm, the presence of Salmonella in the processing environment indicates that additional types of fish processed in the same area of the facility could also be contaminated,” FDA stated in its outbreak investigation announcement.
The agency reports that there have been a total of 33 illnesses connected with this specific outbreak. These infections have also resulted in 13 hospitalizations, but no deaths have been reported so far.
FDA has advised that consumers eating salmon, halibut, Chilean seabass, tuna, and swordfish at restaurants in California or Arizona should ask whether the fish is from Mariscos Bahia, Inc. and whether it was received fresh, not frozen.
The agency also warned that while distribution has only been confirmed for Arizona and California, the contaminated “product could have been distributed further, reaching additional states.” In fact, at least one illness in this outbreak has been reported in Illinois.
Salmonella bacteria-contaminated food typically does not seem, smell, or taste rotten.
Salmonella infection can make anyone ill. According to the CDC, due to the fragility of their immune systems, infants, children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to serious illness.
It estimates that approximately 420 people in the U.S. die each year from acute salmonellosis.
Common symptoms of this illness include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. More severe cases manifest symptoms like high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, and blood in the urine or stool.