Unlabeled Seafood? Throw It Back

Botulism concerns prompt recall of lobster, crab

By News Desk on November 14, 2019

Food Safety News – Testing has shown some unlabeled lobster and crab is contaminated with the bacterium that causes botulism poisoning, spurring a recall.

Denis Losier recalled the lobster and crab, which are sold in jars in brine, from the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec.

No further distribution details, such as whether retailers received the products, were included in the recall notice posted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

[While this story is specific to Canada, it serves as a stark reminder of the critical importance of  food labeling requirements, which are intended to protect consumer health. Every health-conscious consumer needs to be in the habit of looking for and reading labels; see additional stories below under “RECENTLY.” – Ed.]

The jars do not have any labels, according to the recall notice.

“Consumers should not consume the products described below,” the notice states.

“This recall was triggered by test results. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products.”

The testing results indicated the lobster and crab may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism poisoning.

As of the posting of the recall notice, the CFIA had not received any repots of confirmed illnesses in relation to the recalled products.

Product: Lobster in brine

  • Brand: None
  • Size: 250 mL or 500 mL (sold in Mason jars)
  • Codes: All units sold up to and including Nov. 13, 2019
  • UPC: None
  • Distribution:
    • Sold at Marché G & D, 1006 Saint-Laurent Blvd., Montréal, Quebec
    • Distributed in New Brunswick by Denis Losier, Tracadie, New Brunswick

Product: Crab in brine

  • Brand: None
  • Size: 250 mL or 500 mL (sold in Mason jars)
  • Codes: All units sold up to and including Nov. 13, 2019
  • UPC: None
  • Distribution:
    • Sold at Marché G & D, 1006 Saint-Laurent Blvd., Montréal, Quebec
    • Distributed in New Brunswick by Denis Losier, Tracadie, New Brunswick

About botulism poisoning

While a variety of illnesses can result from eating under-processed food, one of the most dangerous is botulism poisoning. Untreated, botulism can paralyze the muscles needed for breathing, resulting in sudden death.

Anyone who has eaten any recalled products and developed signs of botulism poisoning should immediately seek medical attention, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“In foodborne botulism, symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating contaminated food. However, symptoms can begin as soon as 6 hours after or up to 10 days later,” according to the CDC website.

The symptoms of botulism may include some of all of the following:

  • double vision
  • blurred vision
  • drooping eyelids
  • slurred speech
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty breathing
  • a thick-feeling tongue
  • dry mouth
  • muscle weakness.

People with botulism poisoning may not show all of these symptoms at once.

These symptoms result from muscle paralysis caused by the toxin.

If untreated, the disease may progress, and symptoms may worsen to cause paralysis of specific muscles, including those used in breathing and those in the arms, legs, and the body from the neck to the pelvis area.

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