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Federal Warning On Illegally Imported Catfish

Illegally imported catfish was brought in through New Jersey and shipped to retail locations in Massachusetts.

FOOD SAFETY NEWS – Federal officials are warning the public to check their freezers for certain frozen catfish products after U.S. smuggling officials found they had been imported from Brazil.

Brazil is not eligible to export fish of the Siluriformes family to the United States, according to the warning from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

A recall was not recommended because it is believed that the affected products are no longer available to be purchased. However, because the fish was frozen consumers may still have unused portions in their freezers.

The frozen whole Siluriformes products were produced on April 23. EB Express Provisions Inc. (EB) is the Importer of Record (IOR), a Newark, NJ, firm.

Consumers can use the following information to determine whether they have the fish:

  • 13-pound to 14-pound cases containing “GUTTED FROZEN FISH SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hypostomus” with a production date of 23/04/2021 represented on the label.
  • The whole frozen fish were removed from the cases and sold individually, by weight, in plastic bags at Mass. Mineirao Markets.
  • The product is identified with an ineligible establishment number (S.I.F. 188) on its packaging. It does not have a USDA mark of inspection.
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These items were shipped to retail locations in Massachusetts. According to the public warning:

“The problem was discovered when FSIS followed up on a referral from USDA’s Smuggling Interdiction & Trade Compliance Program, regarding Cascudo fish (Hypostomus sp), of the order Siluriformes, product of Brazil. Brazil is not eligible to import raw Siluriformes products into the United States.” 

“FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

Consumers and media with questions regarding the public health alert should contact Nelson Araujo, EB Express Provisions Inc, at 973-868-5381 or email [email protected]

For consumers that need to report a problem with a meat, poultry, or egg product, the online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at https://foodcomplaint.fsis.usda.gov/eCCF/.

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