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May 7, 2002

CANADA: CFIA warns of possible glycoalkaloids in red potatoes in Vancouver store

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is advising the public not to consume red potatoes purchased between 16 and 26 April 2002 at Killarney Market retail store located at 2611 East 49th, Vancouver, BC. These potatoes may contain glycoalkaloids that can cause illness if consumed. They were sold through bulk sales.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is advising the public not to consume red potatoes purchased between 16 and 26 April 2002 at Killarney Market retail store located at 2611 East 49th, Vancouver, BC.

These potatoes may contain glycoalkaloids that can cause illness if consumed. They were sold through bulk sales.

The Killarney Market retail store is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace.

Glycoalkaloids are naturally occurring chemicals found in potatoes. They tend to be unevenly distributed in the potato being more concentrated near the outer surface and in the peel. Elevated levels of glycoalkaloids can occur in green potatoes (due to exposure to light), unripe potatoes, potatoes damaged from pre- or post- harvest mechanical handling, improper storage or other environmental stress factors. Their presence may impart a bitter or musty taste and they are not destroyed by cooking.

Exposure to excessive levels of glycoalkaloids can cause acute toxic effects and these may vary from burning sensation in the mouth, vomiting, diarrhoea or gastrointestinal irritation to nervous system impairment. In extreme cases, death can occur. There has been one reported illness associated with the consumption of this product.

For more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:

Killarney Market (604) 438-0869
CFIA, in the province of Quebec 1-800-561-3350; or
CFIA, in other provinces and territories 1-800-442-2342.

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