Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pennsylvania, other states, say no to Korean shellfish.

As reported by Philadelphia's CBS affiliate, among others, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is advising consumers to discard Korean shellfish. Their May 16th press release reads:
The state departments of Agriculture and Health today advised Pennsylvanians to immediately discard and not consume any fresh or frozen shellfish from Korea due to a recent report from the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saying these products may be contaminated.

While the FDA has not issued an official recall, states have been advised to treat Korean shellfish products as coming from an unapproved source. The shellfish products came from polluted waters and may cause illness. This includes oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops, but does not include canned shellfish products.

The Department of Agriculture has alerted all shellfish facilities. These are food establishments that include a building, or vehicle maintained, used or operated for the purpose of commercially manufacturing, processing, storing, or distributing shellfish products for human consumption.

As an added precaution, food sanitarians have advised restaurants and food retailers across the state during routine inspections that all fresh and frozen Korean shellfish products are considered adulterated and must not be consumed.

Consumers who have fresh or frozen shellfish products labeled with Korea as the country of origin should return or discard the product immediately.

To date, no illnesses related to Korean shellfish or shellfish products have been reported to the Department of Health or any local health departments in the state.
Similar warnings have turned up in other states throughout the country. The advisory will be most relevant to consumers who: (1) frequent Asian groceries, restaurants, and buffets; and (2) put any stock in these blanket advisories in the first place.