At 9:56 PM on May 25, the FDA released a notice that an Evergreen State salmon company is recalling its cold smoked salmon because of a possibly deadly bacterial infectant.
“Salmolux of Federal Way, Wash. is recalling its cold smoked salmon products because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes,” said the FDA notice.
According to the CDC, Listeria monocytogene can cause meningitis–inflammation of portions of the brain–and bacteremia–bacteria in the blood causing septic shock and death.
Emily J. Cartwright, author of a CDC study investigating Listeria outbreaks for the past ten years, explains that Listeriosis–diseases caused by Listeria–usually affects older adults or people with special medical conditions, and pregnant women need to take special precautions.
“Although pregnant women infected with L. monocytogenes typically experience a mild influenza-like illness or an asymptomatic infection, pregnancy-associated listeriosis can result in fetal loss, preterm delivery, invasive neonatal infection, and infant death,” she says.
While Pacseafood, the company that recently acquired Salmolux, ships to restaurants and retailers all over the country, the company primarily distributes from Alaska to Mexico along the West Coast: this means Charlottesville residents participating in summer travel to the West Coast this summer should pay special attention to package labels. For now, Charlottesville’s residents on summer travel should avoid any cold smoked salmon products from Salmolux until further updates from the FDA.
It’s important that Charlottesville residents not misunderstand this recall to include all salmon products. Normally, salmon products like those provided by Salmolux offer wonderful sources of protein and numerous healthy amino acids, according to the USDA. One cup of cooked, smoked salmon offers 1.263 g of healthy fatty acids (including omega-3 and omega-6, which support brain function) and 24.86 g of protein.
One study reports that in salmon consumers can also find luthein and zeaxanthin, important carotenoids which protect the eye by preventing blue light from damaging its more sensitive portions.
Because of Charlottesville’s international and intercultural flavor–partly due to the populations brought in by the University of Virginia–many residents will find their summer travel plans carrying them abroad or to different parts of the country this month. It’s worthwhile for travelers to check FDA and other alerts for food safety in the areas where they plan to vacation. Also, Charlottesville residents may want to consider sharing alerts like this one with their relatives across the country.