New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball warned consumers not to eat “Phil Am” brand Smoked Mackerel (Hasa Hasa) because the product was found to be uneviscerated. The product is sold by Asian Supermarket Group Inc., located at 1245 Central Ave in Albany, New York 12205. No illnesses have been reported to the Department to date in connection with the product.
The “Phil Am” brand Smoked Mackerel (Hasa Hasa) is packaged in a clear, vacuum package flexible plastic pouch and offered for sale at refrigerated temperatures. The product is uncoded and is a product of the Philippines. The package does contain a UPC number of “814487015147.”
Uneviscerated processed fish is prohibited under New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ regulations because Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish. Because the fish is uneviscerated, the product may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores, which can cause Botulism, a serious and potentially fatal foodborne illness. Symptoms of Botulism include blurred or double vision, general weakness, poor reflexes, difficulty swallowing and respiratory paralysis.
The “Phil AM” brand Smoked Mackerel (Hasa Hasa) was found by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets food inspectors during a routine inspection of the retail firm. Subsequent analysis by New York State Food Laboratory personnel confirmed the product to be uneviscerated.