October 2013

Scientific American reports that Scientists have discovered a new strain—the first in 40 years—of Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that is ultimately responsible for causing botulism. And although they have reported their findings in a scientific journal, the investigators have taken the extraordinary step of withholding key details of the discovery. That’s because the toxins made by C. botulinum are the most dangerous known to humankind and currently there is no antidote for a toxin generated by the new strain. The fear is that malevolent organizations or rogue governments might use the information to reverse engineer their own version of the new bug, making it a potent and real bioterrorism threat.

Big Blue Fisheries is recalling ALL smoked products from all lots and codes, various sizes, in vacuum packages because the products may not have been properly cooked and have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death.

Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled. Because the products may not have been fully processed, product contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens could lead to illness if consumed.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

Big Blue Fisheries initiated a voluntary recall after Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation conducted a routine inspection and discovered that some of their products may not have been properly cooked. To date, there have been no reported illnesses or consumer complaints.

The firm’s products sold under Big Blue Fisheries brand and Sitka Alaska Smoked Fish were distributed locally in Sitka, Alaska and wholesale nationwide between 09/24/11 to 09/24/13. Products were also sold from internet through the website: http://alaskasmokedfish.com1.

Products were sold in vacuum packed plastic packages with labels located on the front that include the pack date and AK#604.