If you live in Illinois or Indiana and bought fresh or frozen catfish at any point between January 25, 2021, and May 21, 2021, there’s a chance you may want to throw it away.
According to a recent announcement from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 50,000 pounds of catfish were packed and distributed to retail stores in the midwest with absolutely no oversight or inspection. So while statistically, the food might be okay, there’s no point in throwing caution to the wind and risking your health, especially with something that can be as iffy as fish.
The items in question include the following:
- 30-lb. plastic bags and cardboard boxes containing “IQF Frozen Catfish Steaks Net Weight 30.00 LB” and have a shelf-life of one year.
- 30-lb. plastic bags and cardboard boxes containing “40 + Oz Fresh Catfish Whole Net Weight 30.00 LB” and have a shelf-life of one week if not frozen.
To date, there have been no reports of anyone having any adverse reactions to the items above. Still, given that there’s no way to be sure how safe the above products are, you’d be well advised to throw them away if you happen to have them in your fridge.
The press release from the FSIS reads in part:
The problem was discovered during routine FSIS surveillance activities when it was determined that the catfish products did not have the USDA mark of inspection and were produced in an establishment that was not inspected by USDA.
There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ refrigerators or freezers. 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.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
Consumers and members of the media with questions about the recall can contact Magnus Ottenborn, Owner, Otten’s Seafood Inc., at (312) 833-4585.
Consumers with food safety questions can call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or live chat via Ask USDA from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Consumers can also browse food safety messages at Ask USDA or send a question via email to MPHotline@usda.gov. 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/.