Recalled fish might contain deadly toxin

May 24, 2007

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a recall involving a product labeled as monkfish that might contain a potent toxin.

The Hong Chang Corp. of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., said it initiated the voluntary recall of the fish because they might contain tetrodotoxin. Although the product was identified as monkfish, the FDA said it is concerned it might actually be pufferfish because that toxin is usually associated with certain types of that species.

Consumption of foods containing tetrodotoxin can result in life-threatening illness or death, the FDA said, noting the toxin cannot be destroyed by cooking or freezing.

The recall involves 282 22-pound boxes of monkfish that were distributed to wholesalers in Illinois, California and Hawaii beginning in September 2006. The product was sold in retail stores and restaurants.

The monkfish are individually packaged in clear plastic sleeves and placed in a plastic liner which is inside a cardboard box. There are no lot numbers on the boxes, which have labeling on one panel that reads "MONK FISH GUTTED AND HEAD-OFF PRODUCT OF CHINA".

Consumers with questions can contact the company at 562-309-0068.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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