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Santa Barbara Smokehouse Recalls Salmon Over Health Concerns


Santa Barbara Smokehouse, crafters of popular smoked-salmon products, has voluntarily recalled some of its batches, temporarily shuttered its Nopal Street facility, and halted distribution due to a possible bacterial contamination, the California Department of Public Health announced on Friday.

Health inspectors recently found traces of Listeria monocytogenes at the processing facility, prompting the recall and an investigation by the state department as well as the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The health agencies advise consumers to look out for the products — sold under the brand names Cambridge House, Channel Island Smokehouse, Coastal Harbor, Harbor Point, and Santa Barbara Smokehouse — with packing dates of August 22, September 17-19, and December 17-24.

Cambridge House brand packaging that held Santa Barbara Smokehouse product
Click to enlarge photo

Cambridge House brand packaging that held Santa Barbara Smokehouse product

The company is working with officials to pinpoint what caused the contamination, the state agency said. If infected with the bacteria, a person could suffer fever, headache, and neck stiffness; seniors and infants are most at risk, and pregnant women could suffer miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth. No illnesses associated with the contamination have been reported.

This incident marks the second time that the company, which opened its 15,000 square foot building in 2005, has come under fire for safety violations. In September 2012, the FDA called out Santa Barbara Smokehouse for not processing its fish per certain codes. “Accordingly, your ready-to-eat vacuum packed smoked salmon products are adulterated, in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health,” a warning letter from the FDA to CEO Tim Brown stated.

That letter acknowledged a response to the issues from the company but said the health standards still weren’t up to snuff. Brown didn’t respond to a request for comment.

People who see the affected salmon being sold are encouraged to make a report to the Department of Public Health by calling 800-495-3232.

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