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Public Health Alert Issued for Frozen Catfish Imported From China

The products were not inspected by the USDA and were shipped to retailers in New York, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma.

Chinese Catfish Public Health Alert

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a public health alert for imported frozen Siluriformes products—known to consumers as catfish or pangasius fish—that were illegally imported from the People’s Republic of China and are ineligible for entry into the U.S.

The items are believed to have been shipped to retail and wholesale locations in New York, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. There have been no confirmed reports so far of adverse reactions due to eating these products.                               

The items were not certified for export to the U.S. by the government of China as being produced under equivalent inspection, they do not identify a certified establishment number on their packaging, and they were not presented to FSIS for import reinspection as required. These factors make the products ineligible to import into the U.S. and unfit for human consumption. FSIS is working with other agencies to investigate how these products entered the country.

Public Health Alert Chinese CatfishUSDA

The products in question come in 12 oz. plastic packages labeled: Frozen Striped Pangasius Maws. The packages do not have any producing establishment information or import marks on the labels and are packed in plain white shipping cartons devoid of labels or markings.

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The problem was discovered during FSIS surveillance activities conducted at a wholesaler. By law, commercial imports of meat, poultry, and egg products must be produced in certified establishments in eligible countries, and these products must be presented to FSIS for import reinspection prior to entering U.S. commerce. Raw Siluriformes fish products from specific establishments in China are eligible for importation provided the raw materials originate from one of these certified establishments.

FSIS is concerned that some product may be in retailers’ and consumers’ freezers or refrigerators. Retailers who have purchased the products are urged not to sell them, and consumers who purchased the products should throw them out and not eat them. Consumers are advised to dispose of the products by double bagging them to reduce the possibility of animals accessing the products.  

Consumers with questions regarding the public health alert can contact Susie Yang, Accountant, Fuxin USA Inc at 347-881-9899 or [email protected].

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