Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Food Recall: Prawns May Cause Food Poisoning

In a nutshell: Langostinos is the Spanish word for prawns. The company recalled the product as a preventive measure as it investigates a Canadian claim of potential for serious food poisoning.

March 14, 2008–Slade Gorton & Co is issuing a voluntary recall of its “ICYBAY” cooked, ready to eat, frozen Langostinos (prawns) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, 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 fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The prawns retails in one pound, clear plastic package marked with UPC 0-73129-61672-8 on the top and with an expiration date of June 2009 and is distributed under the brand name of “ICYBAY”.

The product also was distributed to wholesale accounts, also under the “ICYBAY” brand, in five pound clear plastic packages containing either 70-90 count, 90-125 count or 120-150 count. This recall involves production dates of July 18, 2007 through August 13, 2007 and/or Julian dates of 199 through 232.

The recalled “ICYBAY” cooked langostinos were distributed to retailers in Massachusetts and Maryland, over the course of the past several weeks. The majority of the retail distribution was removed from shelves immediately upon notice of the potential of contamination.

The recalled “ICYBAY” cooked langostinos were distributed to wholesalers in Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The potential for contamination was noted after a Canadian government laboratory, CFIA, found that one sample was believed to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this product.

President Kim Gorton said her company, one of the largest private seafood distributors in the United States, strictly follows HACCP procedures and FDA guidelines for testing its seafood products to ensure their wholesomeness and safety.

She said that “while the report from Canada only involves a small sample of the langostinos, we are issuing this voluntary recall, as a precautionary measure, out of concern for the health and safety of the consuming public.”

Distribution of the product has been suspended while FDA and the company continue to confirm testing and investigate the source of any potential problem. Slade Gorton & Co. will use an independent testing service to determine the accuracy of the Canadian findings.

Consumers who have purchased one pound packages of “ICYBAY” cooked langostinos are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-225-1573.


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