Costco Recalls Salmon Due to Salmonella Outbreak
Smoke salmon that contained salmonella bacteria sickened hundreds of people in the Netherlands and the U.S., causing recalls overseas and locally, Dutch health authorities said.
More than 100 people in the United States have fallen sick from salmonella poisoning Tuesday.
The Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health and the Environment linked the tainted salmon to the Dutch company Foppen, which sells fish to many major supermarkets around the world.
A representative for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the agency was investigating and had not confirmed any illnesses. The CDC has a specific procedure for confirming an outbreak which includes interviewing those who become ill.
Costco Wholesale Corp., which sold the salmon made by Foppin in the U.S., had no reports of illness.
Company spokesman, Bart de Vries, said that since the company set up a public information phone line on Sunday, thousands of people have called and 350 callers reported symptoms consistent with a salmonella infection. These symptoms include fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
Costco is the Dutch company's only U.S. distributor and it is unclear how much contaminated fish has been sold in the U.S.
Costco quickly pulled the fish from shelves and blocked its sale in stores after the recall late Monday afternoon, said Craig Wilson, vice president of food safety at Costco.
The smoked salmon was sold under the Foppen name as well as Kirkland, Costco's store-brand name.
Customers who purchased the items were called and emailed Tuesday to notify them of the recall.
Costco's testing of the smoked salmon hasn't shown any positive results for salmonella yet.
Foppen is investigating the cause of the outbreak and the production of smoked salmon has stopped until the investigation is completed.