CFIA pulls St-Thomas Fish Market's registration

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has revoked the registration of the St-Thomas Fish Market Inc. in St-Thomas-de-Kent, N.B.

Move comes after botulism warnings and licence suspension

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has revoked the registration of the St-Thomas Fish Market Inc. in St-Thomas-de-Kent, N.B.

The move comes three months after CFIA had suspended the company's licence to operate for failing to "correct deficiencies."

On March 15, CFIA had issued a botulism warning about the company's bottled bar clams.

It determined adequate food safety controls were "not being reliably implemented" on a consistent basis at the facility located near Bouctouche, which produces bottled bar clams, clam fricot and lobster.

That warning was then expanded to include other seafood products, such as bottled lobster and bar clam stew, over concerns they might also contain the toxin-producing bacteria, Clostridium botulinum.

Botulism is a life-threatening illness.

"If any St-Thomas food products are in your home, do not consume it as it is either expired or has been subjected to recall," said CFIA spokeswoman Elena Koutsavakis.

"It's important  consumers are aware of this recall, and any St -homas fish products should be thrown away, do not consume them," she said.

No illnesses have been associated with the products to date, said Koutsavakis.

The fish market, which has remained closed since the suspension, has been "unable to provide CFIA with an acceptable correction action plan to address those deficiencies," according to a statement.

As a result, the registration was revoked on June 24.

"The establishment, at any time, can request reinstatement of their registration and would need to comply with the Fish Inspection Regulations," CFIA said in the statement.

That would include:

  • Developing a quality management plan, which must include a hazard analysis critical control point plan.
  • Registering the processing facility with CFIA by properly completing and application form and paying a set fee.
  • Having CFIA verify the facility is in compliance with the regulations.

St-Thomas Fish Market officials could not be reached on Friday for comment.

Symptoms of botulism include vomiting, blurred vision, slurred speech and muscle paralysis. Anyone with concerns should call their physician.