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Monday, February 7, 2011

FDA Recall of the Week: Frozen Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks

A few weeks ago I signed-up for FDA Recalls, Market Withdrawals & Safety Awards. Therefore, I have decided to start sharing a favorite once a week. The FDA typically releases these puppies on Friday afternoons... and that is no surprise given that Friday is the slowest news day. A reporter (no matter their integrity and passiText Coloron) probably isn't going to stay late on Friday for a small Recall story --- especially when they happen all the time.

So, step right up, ladies and gents, for your first-ever Recall of the Week!!

On Friday February 4th, the FDA issued the following recall: Rouses Markets Voluntarily Recalls Frozen Yellow Fin Tuna Steaks Due to Possible Health Risks.

First of all, where is Rouses Market and what is the health risk? Listen up, my fish-eating, Mardi-Gras loving friends: Rouses Market is a supermarket with chains located in Louisiana and Mississippi.

And they are recalling wild-caught tuna steaks from the Gulf of Mexico due to histamine poisoning (also called Scrombroid food poisoning). Histamine or scrombroid poisoning occurs after someone eats spoiled or decayed fish, meaning that the tuna steaks were spoiled or decaying. Yuck.

And the effects are similar to an allergic reaction: facial flushing, burning/peppery sensations in the mouth and throat, dizziness, nausea, headache, cold-like symptoms.

This is not so bad, you say. It's not like they were recalled for e-coli or salmonella poisoning. True, I counter, but there is one thing I would like to point out:

Scrombroid/histamine/whateveryouwanttocallit poisoning comes from fish that are decaying or spoiled. So how long were these fish sitting in trucks being transported to the supermarket? How long were they waiting to be harvested and shipped that allowed them to decay? In short, these fish represent a larger problem with the industrial food complex.

After researching this, it seems to be a common problem, and one that has plenty of research to address the causes and solutions. But let's face it: in a system as vast, unregulated and corrupt as our industrial food complex, how can we expect these incidents not to happen?

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