December 12, 2018

Heartland Catfish Company Recalls Catfish for Possible Adulteration

Heartland Catfish Company of Mississippi is recalling about 69,016 pounds of Siluriformes fish (catfish) products that may be contaminated with leucomalachite green, a residue of concern. This compound is a metabolite of malachite green, a fungicide. The levels in the fish violate standards for human consumption. No confirmed illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this issue.

You can see the long list of recalled products, along with package sizes, daycodes, and product codes at the USDA web site. The products have the establishment number “EST. 45777” inside the USDA mark of inspection. They were shipped to retail locations in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and Vermont. The problem was discovered on March 8, 2018, after FSIS sampling results found the compound. The recalled products include Catfish Whole Bloody, Catfish Fillet Split, Catfish Fillet, Catfish Nugget, and Catfish Shank Fillet, among others.

Malachite green is used as a green dye and it is also used a treatment and a pesticide in aquaculture. It controls fungal attacks and other diseases. The Canadian government found that eating fish contaminated with malachite green poses a significant health risk to humans. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, leucomalachite green “may be a genotoxic carcinogen which persists in fish tissues long after malachite green can no longer be detected.”

If you purchased any of these products, do not eat them. Throw them away in a sealed or double bagged package in a secure garbage receptacle, or take them back to the place of purchase for a refund.

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