August 18, 2008

Bantry Bay-Brand Mussels Are Recalled

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers against eating certain Bantry Bay-brand frozen cooked mussel products due to contamination.

The FDA said the mussels, imported from Ireland, might be contaminated with azaspiracid toxins, a group of naturally occurring marine toxins known to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps.

Officials said the toxins are odorless, tasteless and cannot be destroyed or neutralized by freezing, cooking or boiling.

Being recalled are Bantry Bay Seafood frozen cooked products with "Best before end" dates ranging from January 23, 2009, to November 15, 2009, printed on the side of the box as "01:23:09" through "11:15:09."

The specific products are mussels in garlic butter sauce, mussels in white wine sauce and mussels in tomato and garlic sauce. The products are sold frozen in 1-pound cardboard packages in stores across the United States.

The FDA said azaspiracid toxins were an unknown marine toxin until 1995, when they were identified and linked with an outbreak of illnesses associated with consumption of Irish shellfish. The toxins have since been identified in other shellfish from the west coast of Europe. They have never been detected in shellfish harvested from U.S. waters.