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Botulism Risk on Island Soups Company

FDA advises consumers to discard any soup products from Island Soups Company, Inc. of New York with Best Before dates between July 2015 and June 2018 because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that causes botulism.

FDA is working with Island Soups Company to ensure that recalled product is removed from the market. FDA’s safety concerns extend to all low-acid canned food products with Best Before dates between July 2015 and June 2018.

FDA inspected Island Soups Company, Inc. on June 22, 2016 and determined the facility does not meet mandatory safety requirements for thermally processed low-acid canned food (LACF) products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The FDA’s review of the facility revealed significant violations of requirements relating to, among other things, documentation of processes, equipment, and recordkeeping in the production of the company’s LACF products. Failure to adhere to mandatory safety requirements can result in under-processed foods, which can allow the survival and growth of Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum), a bacterium that causes botulism. After a July 2015 FDA inspection, Island Soups Company signed an affidavit stating it would cease production and distribution until it met FDA regulatory requirements, including filing its scheduled processes for its thermally-processed LACF products. To date, Island Soups Company has not filed scheduled processes for these products. Despite the signed 2015 affidavit, the company continued to distribute soups to online customers in March and June of 2016. The online distribution of the soups triggered the follow-up inspection on June 22, 2016.

On August 30, 2016, the FDA issued an order requiring Island Soups Company to obtain a written “emergency permit” from the Agency. An emergency permit may be required whenever the FDA finds, after investigation, that a commercial processor has failed to fulfill all the requirements pertaining to LACF products, including registration and the filing of process information. An emergency permit would be issued only after the Agency has verified that the company has met the FDA’s regulatory requirements in such a way that the company’s products can be considered safe and can be distributed into interstate commerce.

After a conversation with the FDA, Island Soups Company ordered a recall of six varieties of Island Soups brand products on September 7, 2016 because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.

FDA will continue to update this list if additional products are recalled.

GUNGO PEAS SOUP, NET WT. 16OZ
GUNGO PEAS SOUP NO MEAT, NET WT. 16OZ
RED PEAS SOUP, NET WT. 16OZ
RED PEAS SOUP NO MEAT, NET WT. 16OZ
MANNISH WATER, NET WT. 16OZ
FISH SOUP, NET WT. 16OZ
All products coded BEST BEFORE dates July 2015 through June 2018.

Consumers should discard any of the identified LACF products from Island Soups Company, Inc. with Best Before dates between July 2015 and June 2018 because they were not manufactured, processed, or packaged in accordance with mandatory safety requirements for thermally processed low-acid canned food (LACF) products and therefore have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.

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.

If you are unsure of your risk, ask your healthcare provider.