Your salmon bacon may be under-processed!

If you love the taste of bacon, but have been looking for alternate options because of health or religious reasons, then you may have considered the salmon bacon produced by Swinomish Fish Company. However, during a routine investigation conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) it was decided that a couple of salmon bacon products produced by this company may have been under-processed, leaving their customers vulnerable to Clostridium botulinum.

The recalled products are sold under the Native Catch Salmon Bacon label and they are of two different varieties. The details are as follows.

FlavorUPC CodeSizeBest By
Peppered7 83583 27965 98 oz. and 14 oz.01/23/16 and 03/16/16
Traditional7 51778 15900 08 oz. and 14 oz.01/23/16 and 03/16/16

The recalled products were packed in clear vacuum bags and were shipped between August 10, 2015 through December 11, 2015 to retail locations in Washington and Florida.

Clostridium bolulinum is a rod-shaped, spore producing, gram positive bacteria that produces botulinum, which is a neurotoxin. This toxin loses its potency if it reaches the temperature of 100 degrees Celcius (212 degrees Fahrenheit), which the recalled salmon bacon products probably never reach. It is the toxin botulinum that causes botulism in humans. The symptoms of botulism will differ depending upon how the bacteria or the toxin entered the human body.

If your food contains the botulinum bacteria or toxin, you will suffer from foodborne botulism. The following symptoms will appear between 12 to 36 hours after the consumption of the contaminated product:

  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Drooping eyelids.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Trouble breathing.
  •  Slurred speech.
  • Dry mouth and swallowing becomes difficult.
  • Nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.
  • Constipation.
  • Reduced or no reaction in the tendons (such as those in the knee).

In rare cases, these symptoms may take several days to appear. This can happen if only a small amount of this toxin is ingested.

If the entry point of the toxin or the bacteria is from a wound, you may suffer from wound botulism. The symptoms are the same as those of foodborne botulism, minus the gastro-intestinal symptoms. (constipation, vomiting, etc.) Wound botulism may also cause facial or full body paralysis.

Both foodborne and wound botulism can potentially be fatal for the afflicted person. People displaying any of the above symptoms need immediate medical care. Thankfully there have not been any reported illnesses that were caused by the consumption of the recalled products.

Swinomish Fish Company is saying that they have already asked all the retailers who carry this product to remove them from their shelves. Customers who are in possession of the recalled products should either dispose of them or return them at the place of purchase. If people would like a replacement or a refund, they should contact the company directly at +1 (360) 466-0176 on weekdays between 08:30 AM and 04:30 (PST). If you have any further questions or concerns about the recall, you may call the same number.