Canada renews un-gutted fish warning

Warnings referred to type of fish popular in Egyptian culture known as fesikh

OTTAWA | May 9, 2012

Canada's federal health agencies renewed warnings Tuesday against eating salted fish that haven't been gutted, weeks after illnesses were reported in Toronto.

The warnings referred to a type of mullet or shad popular in Egyptian culture known as fesikh in which the entire fish is dried, then salted.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency first warned against eating fesikh April 19 when three people who ate it in Toronto were diagnosed with the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, or botulism.

"These toxins are not eliminated by any smoking or drying of the end product," the release said. "Regardless of whether the end product is whole fish, fillets or parts, refrigeration, freezing, open air or vacuum packaging will not make the fish safe."

Food contaminated with botulism might not appear or smell spoiled, but can result in nausea, vomiting, double or blurred vision, dry mouth, difficulty speaking or swallowing and potentially fatal respiratory failure, the agencies said.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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