Scallops Sold In Stores, Restaurants Could Cause Food Poisoning, FDA Warns

The Food and Drug Administration says restaurants, retailers, and consumers should avoid scallops harvested from a prohibited area in Massachusetts because they may be contaminated and could cause food poisoning. 



Photo Credit: Unsplash/Henry Perk

An unlicensed harvester is believed to have captured the shellfish on Dec. 26-27 and Jan. 1 and incorrectly labeled them with the harvest location FED 514. Massachusetts officials issued a recall on the potentially tainted shellfish on Tuesday, Jan. 9. 

The scallops were shipped to restaurants and retailers in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, the FDA said. However, they could have been sent out to other areas as well,

Scallops harvested from prohibited waters may be contaminated with human pathogens, toxic elements or poisonous or deleterious substances and can cause illness if consumed. Scallops are filter feeders that remove and bioaccumulate bacteria and other pathogens from the water. It is not uncommon for shellfish to be consumed raw and whole. Contaminated scallops can cause illness if eaten raw and whole, or with viscera or roe attached, particularly in people with compromised immune systems. Scallops contaminated with pathogens may look, smell, and taste normal.

Consumers should check scallops purchased recently to verify they are not part of the recall. 

Restaurants and retailers should take precautions to avoid cross-contamination and sanitize cutting surfaces, utensils, and containers used to hold the scallops. 

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