Salmon safe to eat, says Norway council

The Singapore Food Agency issued a recall to importer Yu Fish on Wednesday, after it found bacteria in a sample of Norwegian salmon. The Norwegian Seafood Council says it was informed by the Singapore importer that the small strain of bacteria that w
The Singapore Food Agency issued a recall to importer Yu Fish on Wednesday, after it found bacteria in a sample of Norwegian salmon. The Norwegian Seafood Council says it was informed by the Singapore importer that the small strain of bacteria that was found is limited to a specific batch. PHOTO: SINGAPORE FOOD AGENCY

The Norwegian Seafood Council has assured consumers in Singapore that fresh Norwegian Atlantic salmon on sale here do not have the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause infection, including diarrhoea.

It said in a statement yesterday that the supplier in Norway had already told Singapore importer Yu Fish that a batch of the fresh fish from a lot produced last Thursday had been found with the bacteria, even before the Singapore authorities recalled a batch after samples tested were found to have the bug.

The council is the approval authority for Norwegian seafood exporters.

Said its director of South-east Asia, Mr Asbjorn Warvik Rortveit: "As the batch has been identified and correcting measures are already being carried out, consumers can be sure that the vast majority of fresh Norwegian Atlantic salmon currently in the marketplace is not affected at all and should be considered perfectly safe to eat, both raw and cooked."

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) issued the recall on Wednesday to Yu Fish, after it found the bacteria in a sample of the Norwegian salmon.

Mr Rortveit said the council is aware of the recall, and was informed by the Singapore importer "that the small strain of Listeria monocytogenes found is limited to a specific batch".

He added: "This batch is now being recalled and handled according to standard procedures."

He said his country's salmon are raised "in the cold, clear waters of Norway, with every aspect of the salmon's development closely monitored by technologically advanced systems".

VAST MAJORITY NOT AFFECTED

As the batch has been identified... consumers can be sure that the vast majority of fresh Norwegian Atlantic salmon currently in the marketplace is not affected at all and should be considered perfectly safe to eat, both raw and cooked.

NORWEGIAN SEAFOOD COUNCIL'S DIRECTOR OF SOUTH-EAST ASIA ASBJORN WARVIK RORTVEIT

Also, about 14,000 export-ready Norwegian salmon "are inspected by the independent Institute of Marine Research each year", he added.

Meanwhile, a Yu Fish spokesman told The Straits Times that the recall of all physical stocks in the affected batch of salmon had been completed. He said: "Norway exported 117 metric tonnes last week to Singapore. The affected lot represents about 0.5 per cent.

"Coupled with an expected high recall rate, therefore, the majority of the Norwegian salmon in Singapore remains totally safe to consume."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2019, with the headline 'Salmon safe to eat, says Norway council'. Print Edition | Subscribe