160,000 Pounds of Frozen Fish Recalled Over Fears for Food Safety

May 30, 2019 Updated: May 30, 2019

A Californian frozen seafood importer and supplier has asked stores and shoppers to return two different types of frozen fish over concerns for food safety.

The move came on May 28 after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) decided to recall 160,020 pounds of fish products imported by the Los Angeles-based Richwell Group because the items were not presented for import re-inspection into the United States.

The affected catfish, or Siluriformes, products include different weights of packages containing two and three pieces of frozen headless Yellow Walking Fish as well as 14 ounce packages of wild caught, frozen, headless, and cleaned Mystus Fish.

The products imported from Vietnam between March 2018 and January 2019 have a shelf life of about two years.

“The products were produced at a Vietnamese establishment that was not eligible to export Siluriformes fish to the United States,” FSIS said in a public statement. “These items were shipped to retail locations nationwide.”

Authorities discovered a problem while conducting routine surveillance of imported products on May 22.

“FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them,” FSIS said. “These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.”

However, there is no reason to believe eating the fish could be harmful, according to FSIS.

“There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products,” FSIS said. “Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.”

Questions about the recall can be directed by email to Maxfield Seafood Operations Manager Jae Hwang.

Another Mississippi company recalled about 35 tons of catfish products on May 10 after concerns were raised they might have become tainted with a compound that could become a public health concern.

FSIS said the Heartland Catfish Company produced a variety of fresh and frozen, raw, intact catfish products on Feb. 16.

Routine sampling on March 8 found worrying levels of the chemical leucomalachite green, which is used as an antifungal drug in the fish industry.

The products were shipped to several retail locations across Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and Vermont.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions, and the USDA classified it as a hazardous situation with a “remote possibility” of adverse consequences.

Associated Press contributed to this report.