Recall of the week
No, don’t worry, I’m not really going to start doing this regularly, but once you plug in to the FDA’s daily recall report, certain wonderful headlines do pop up and this morning there was:
Mrs. Grissom’s Salads Announces Voluntary Product Recall Due To Undeclared Anchovies.
The headline is courtesy Mrs. Grissom’s – the FDA just sends ’em along as written – and if you’re wondering how anchovies could slip into anything undeclared the answer is that various products were seasoned with Worcestershire sauce that did not appear on the labels
and thus might sicken an unsuspecting consumer who is allergic to fish.
This would be funnier if it weren’t for the vast assortment of pesticide residues on produce, in drinking water, in the tiny dust particles carried on the very air we breathe. Hey FDA! I’m allergic to it!
There was a barbeque sauce recall today, Worcestershire sauce again the culprit. So I did a very brief google to see how many people are threatened by this stuff.
Difficult. Anything less than death often goes unreported. And there are probably deaths that are not correctly ascribed ( in both directions; you can die from apparently ok seafood if it contains a certain spoilage histamine that is not neutralized by cooking. Cooking takes care of a lot of allergens.)
If you accept the CDC figures ( reported by CNN in the first useful hit; I didn’t wade through the originals) there are @ 150 deaths from allergies a year, 80 % from nuts of some kind. Last year there were also 4 from milk and 2 from shrimp. That leaves 24 unaccounted for.
Fish allergy is very common, as allergies go, though shellfish of various sorts are much more allergenic than finfish. Of finfish, anchovies are in the second most common group of problem families. But just for the sake of argument let’s say there are 25 deaths a year attributable to anchovies.
Approximate number of deaths each year attributable to lightning: 62.
Is there anyone out there with a fish allergy who could tell us what it’s like?
( So far, the Worcestershire recalls are precautionary; there are no reported incidents of reaction.)