Canadian retailer International House of Caviar is recalling AKI brand Chum Salmon Caviar from stores because “it may permit the growth of clostridium botulinum”, a bacterium that can cause facial paralysis.
The canned product, sold in Alberta and British Columbia by the B.C.-based cannery, is one of many caviars sold by International House. Keta Salmon Caviar is made from the roe of Keta Salmon, also called Alaska Chum Salmon, a species that swims in to the Yukon River, where the female can lay 4,000 eggs at a time.
The extra-large, reddish-orange caviar has grown in popularity in recent years, in part because its shelf-life is seen as longer than many other caviars, and it can be frozen. International House also sells sturgeon, trout and herring varieties of the popular product.
The 50-gram packages being recalled had a stamped, best-before date of 17 November 2017. Persons thinking they’ve been sickened by the product should call their doctor.
“Food contaminated with clostridium botulinum toxin may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick,” a statement said. Apart from facial paralysis, adult symptoms include unreactive pupils, difficulty speaking and a change of voice. This form of botulism in kids can also include difficulty swallowing and “generalized weakness and paralysis”. In no cases is a fever present.
The recall was triggered by a Canadian Food Inspection Agency scientific inspection, and there have been no reported illnesses. An investigation by the agency is now underway and could produce other salmon-egg recalls from other retailers.