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Food Recall Nth Island Only - Fresh Smoked Kahawai

Food Recall (North Island Only) - Fresh Smoked Kahawai

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is warning consumers who bought fresh smoked Kahawai fish from several North Island supermarkets and two fish retailers between 12 and 15 May 2003 not to eat it because it may cause illness.

The Kahawai, supplied by Seamart in Auckland, has been linked with suspected cases of scombroid histamine food poisoning in the top half of the North Island. The fish has been sold at Seamart at the Viaduct Basin, Sea Kai Direct Ltd and Foodtown, Countdown, Woolworths, 3 Guys and Big Fresh supermarkets throughout the North Island. It is sold as unpackaged fresh fish.

Histamine poisoning occurs when fish from the scombroid group - kahawai, mackerel, tuna, bonito and butterfly kingfish - have not been chilled adequately between harvest and consumption allowing bacteria to act on the fish producing histamine which can be toxic to humans. Freezing or cooking the fish once it has been contaminated will not kill the toxin and prevent illness.

The symptoms of histamine poisoning include a skin rash, localised skin irritation especially around the mouth, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, low blood pressure, headache, tingling, flushing and possibly respiratory distress. The most common symptoms are flushing of the face and neck, which can be hot and uncomfortable, and diarrhoea. There are rarely any long term effects. Symptoms can last from a few hours to a few days.

The NZFSA is advising people who may have eaten fish bought from the supermarkets or retailers listed to consult a doctor if they are concerned.

For more information on Scombroid histamine poisoning, please go to the NZFSA website -

Ends This statement is made under section 37 of the Food Act 1981 and is protected by qualified privilege. It is made under delegated authority from the Director-General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Related Links Scombroid (Histamine) Poisoning FAQs Contact for enquiries Acting Executive Director
Sandra Daly
Phone: +64 463 2543 or 021 735 696

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