PriceSmart called on its customers who purchazed frozen raw tilapia in November to refrain from consuming it and return it to any of its stores to receive a full reimburse.
The supermarket chain also withdrew the full lot of tainted tilapia from its stores following a report from the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) and the National Animal Health Service (SENASA) regarding higher than permitted levels of an antibiotic called sulfadiazine found on that lot.
The reimbursement will only apply for tilapia purchased between Nov. 7-24, under lot number 16080816172Y and with an expiration date of Aug. 7, 2018.
PriceSmart Inc. Executive Vice President Brud Drachman said in a written response to The Tico Times on Wednesday evening that this is a totally preventative recall.
“We have not received a single complaint regarding adverse effects,” he said.
Drachman said it’s PriceSmart’s understanding that “only consumption of extremely large quantities of the product, or by people extremely allergic to sulfadiazine, would be likely to produce any reaction.”
He noted that because adverse effects are possible, and some people may be allergic without knowing it, they want people to return the product for a refund.
“We will refund the tainted product with or without a receipt,” he said.
Fish farmers use small amounts of sulfadiazine as an antibacterial agent. Intake in humans can provoke side effects including diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting and dizziness.
Tilapia lot withdrawn
Marco Torres, PriceSmart’s manager for Costa Rica, told various media outlets that the company already withdrew the remainder of a 21-ton batch of raw tilapia from all six PriceSmart locations here.
He also said that neither MAG or SENASA officials found problems in any other lot of tilapia at their stores.
Torres said that in addition to social media posts, PriceSmart also made phone calls and sent emails asking customers to return the tilapia.
For further information about the recall you can contact PriceSmart at [email protected]
Here’s the Facebook post from PriceSmart Costa Rica: