Salmon caviar recalled due to botulism fears

By Kate Gibson

/ MoneyWatch

Grained salmon caviar is being recalled because it may be tainted with bacteria that can cause botulism, a type of food poisoning that can cause life-threatening illness or death.

Consumers should not consume the recalled caviar, produced by Awers of Bellevue, Washington, and distributed in California, New York, Oregon, Washington and possibly more states as well as Canada, according to a notice posted late Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Health officials urged consumers not to eat the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled, as the botulinum toxin does not change the appearance, taste or texture of food.

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Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body's nerves, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms usually start with weakness of the muscles that control the eyes, face, mouth,= and throat, and can spread to the neck, arms, torso and legs. Botulism also can weaken the muscles involved in breathing, which can lead to difficulty breathing and even death.

The recall involves Grained Salmon Caviar packed in 95-gram metal tins with Cyrillic lettering. The tin is green, with red and white writing with an "easy pull open lid." The "best before" date on the product is Oct. 7, 2020, which is printed on the bottom of the tin.

The product was reviewed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and sent to a lab for testing, with an analysis showing a lower than normal salt content. A correct salt ratio is essential in low-acid canned foods; otherwise, the anaerobic environment can allow the Clostridium botulinum bacteria to grow.

Consumers who wish to be refunded must ship the affected product back to the company or destroy it with the company's permission, Awers said. Those with questions can call the company at (425) 747-7866 Monday through Friday (8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time) or email: awersinc1@gmail.com.

First published on August 16, 2019 / 6:10 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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