Correction: The original news brief below reported incorrectly that the contaminated salmon was Atlantic; as it turns out the Dutch Manufacturer Foppen receives fish from at least four different countires including Norway, Scotland, Argentina and Alaska, and the origin of the contamination is unknown. Regardless, according to a Thursday report by the Norwegian news site Aftenposten.no, Foppen believes it is not the fish that is responsible for the Salmonella outbreak, but a processing plant in Greece. We regret the error.
Smoked salmon produced by a Dutch company has just landed on a list of undesirables that health officials believe may be contributing to recent salmonella outbreaks in Europe and the U.S.
The Netherlands-based company Foppen is under investigation by U.S. public health authorities in connection with a frightening salmonella outbreak that's believed responsible for illnesses on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, according to The Associated Press. European officials traced the contamination back to Foppen, which supplies fish to chain stores around the world.
Costco Wholesale is the only U.S. food seller that's believed to have possibly stocked the Foppen smoked salmon identified as contaminated with the deadly bacteria. There are two Costco outlets in Anchorage and one in Juneau; together, these stores provide a staggering amount of food and goods to rural Alaska. Foppen sold the contaminated salmon under its own name as well as under Costco brand name Kirkland.
Needless to say Foppen's salmon has been plucked from store and warehouse shelves. Costco Corp. announced Tuesday that members who recently purchased the salmon products would be alerted by phone call and a follow-up letter from Craig Wilson, the chain's vice president of food safety.
The AP says no illnesses have been traced back to Foppen salmon sold at Costco's. In the Netherlands, meanwhile, some 350 people have reported symptoms associated with salmonella poisoning.
Salmonella often causes serious and uncomfortable illness and, occasionally, fatal infections in children and the elderly. Symptoms of salmonella poisoning include fever, diarrhea, bloody stool, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Anyone experiencing symptoms of salmonella should contact their health-care provider.
Consumers who have purchased possible contaminated products are urged not to eat them, but instead return them to the place of purchase. Public health officials have not yet linked the nut butter contamination and the one Foppen smoked salmon one, though both are feared to sicken more people.