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Oct 2, 2012 08:47 AM

Smoked Salmon at Costco?

Looks like there could be an issue...

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  1. Just received a call from Costco - they say they haven't had any reports of a problem but are recalling the item. They say not to use it and return for a full refund.

    4 Replies
    1. re: FoodDee

      May I ask how it is that you "receive a call" from Costco? Just curious.

      1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

        It's a purely membership-based store so it's pretty easy for them to generate a list of all purchasers of a given product and then try to contact them.

        It's one of the reasons that you don't need a receipt for returns - they can easily look it up through your account info.

        1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

          There is a huge beef recall in Canada, Costco called me right when the advisory came out and left a message informing me about the recall. One more great thing about them!

      2. Thanks for the warning! I had some at a party on Sunday, so I just warned a few friends to be on the lookout for symptoms.

        1. Bought Kirkland Brand Smoked Salmon at Milford, CT Costco yesterday. None in stock was from the affected processor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bagelman01

            So, after being told at Costco that none of the smoked salmon in stock was from the affected processor, we bought a package.
            Last night we get a phone cal;l from Costco, alerting us that we did purchase smoked salmon that IS from this processor.

            Seems the front of the package says NORWAY, but small print on the rear says 'product of Holland'

            When did Norway become part of Holland????????????????????

            Anyway, I'll be returning it Friday. I don't eat the stuff, but my 15 YO had some for breakfast yesterday and appears fine.

          2. Costco is very diligent in notifying customers who purchased a recall product. A few years ago I was notified about a salami recall. Just went to the customer service desk for a refund.

            3 Replies
            1. re: treb

              The morning news here is that it is a Dutch supplier called Foppen, that markets the product exclusively to Costco. They then repackage the product as the Kirkland brand of Smoked Salmon.

              I believe I had that product when I was there, and it was quite good. No illness then that I recall.

              Although there are at this time 100 cases of suspect poisoning in North America, and 200 in Europe, news reports here quote Foppen stating 1,400 complaints, or cases have been registered on this issue. When something like that happens here with a member store, one is emailed or mailed an alert. I would think that Costco being a membership wholesaler would do the same.

              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                They are calling and following up with a letter. I have a package of the product and had no problem with it.

              2. re: treb

                They were sampling it at my local Costco last week. I think I had 3 samples but no food poisoning.

              3. I have not gotten a call or a letter and I emailed them and they told me that this item was affected:

                Product Name: Foppen Norwegian Smoked Salmon Slices 12oz
                ITEM: 7859
                Expiry date: From October 1st till October 27th

                But on this website, it says that the 2 pack item 7070 is also recalled:


                I have some of the 7070 with the dates in question in my refrigerator. We've eaten some of it with no adverse effects but I guess I will return it on Sunday when we are near a Costco.

                And for something completely different, here is a profoundly stupid post I found on the Patch website from a clown who is opposed to the Costco they want to build in my town, related to the salmon recall:

                "Phew. Thank god there's no Costco in (town). Probably saved a couple (towners) lives. We have a vast elderly population which is very susceptible to such illnesses often resulting in death or long hospitalizations."

                23 Replies
                1. re: MisterBill2

                  I think the 2 pack item 7070 is the one under the Kirkland Brand.

                  1. re: FoodDee

                    It is the Kirkland brand. It is a very deceptive package, as on the front of the package it says Norway and in small print on the rear ity says product of Holland.

                    MOST IMPORTANT, No one in the USA have gotten ill from this Costco sold item. There were illnesses in Europe from product processed on the same dates in the same Foppen facility.

                    My daughter ate from the recalled package with no problem, and we returned the opened remaining product.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      Are you sure about that? The articles I've read said that people have gotten sick. which is how they tracked it to the Costco salmon. I ate part of one package and don't recall any adverse affects.

                      1. re: MisterBill2

                        There is a simple explanation regarding the packaging..

                        The Salmon is harvested in the waters off Norway by Dutch fishing and processing company.

                        I do not think that it is deceptive at all for Costco to then advertise the packaging this way, as it does state on the package where the product comes from.

                        In fact, both Foppen and Costco ARE correct to alert, refund, and assist with any health complaints that arise. There have been some cases of illness reported, but that does not mean the entire shipment was tainted..

                        1. re: SWISSAIRE

                          I don't agree with you.
                          Disclosure>I am an attorney
                          I have brought consumer protection actions on similar deceptive packaging. Putting Norway in large type prominently on the front of the package, and placing 'product of Holland' in small type only on the rear meets the classic definitions of deceptive packaging.

                          Labeling this item as "Norwegian Salmon, cured in Holland" would Not be deceptive.

                          1. re: bagelman01

                            Is your " disclosure " including your self-descriptive history of class-action lawsuits here on CHOWHOUND, actually a solicitation for your legal business ?

                            It sounds like you have a ready made case then, perhaps even two.

                            1. re: SWISSAIRE

                              Like to see bman01 do it out of his own pocket.

                              1. re: treb

                                MA Chapter 93A consumer protections actions (which I have brought in the past) award legal fees to the consumer if the consumer wins. Therefore, attorneys are happy to take these cases on a contingency fee basis. I don't do this type of work any longer and am not in that state where I have brought these actions.

                                I'm not advocating suing Costco (or anyone else for that matter). I merely spoke to the deceptive labeling of the package. The big question is? What are the actual damages of buying smoked salmon that one believes to be from Norway and finding out that it was processed in Holland? Answer, NOT MUCH, especially as Costco ONLY sells to members and has an unconditional money back guaranty.

                                If I were the Judge (and I never hope to be) hearing such a case, I'd probably award the price of the merchandise and $1 damages.

                                This is differnt from a personal injury case if someone actually became sick from the product. I never once took a personal injury case in my life. Not an ambulance chaser.

                                1. re: bagelman01

                                  Is it not possible that the salmon was caught in Norway and then processed and packaged in Holland. So it's from Norway, correct? Just like lobster can be caught in Maine or Canada and processed in MA. I don't see any deception but, then again I'm not a lawyer, just an old technical analytical gear head.

                                  1. re: treb

                                    The deception is putting Norway in Large type on the front of the package and Product of Holland in small type on the reverse.

                                    Simply labelling on the front Norwegian caught salmon, cured in Holland in all the same size type would not be deceptive.

                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                      Ok, I'm a little slow, please explain. If the salmon was caught in Norway, is it not from Norway? Then if the large print states caught in Norway how is that deceptive? it was caught in Norway! It's like fish processed in Gloucester at the Gorton's plant should state from Gloucester.

                                      1. re: treb

                                        I am confused.. in the first part of your post you say it's OK to say Norway on the label because that is where it is caught. But then you compare it to Gorton's and say it should say Gloucester because that is where it is processed. If that were true for this salmon, it would say Holland! I personally don't think it is a big deal what it says, but I WAS surprised to find out where it was processed.

                                        1. re: treb

                                          The raw salmon may have been caught in Norwegian waters, BUT the smoking (cooking) slicing and packaging was done in Holland. If it was a package of frozen RAW slamon, I would have no objection to labelling it Norwegain Salmon. However, smoking or curing, trimming, slicing and packaging a cooked item under the health regulations of Holland may be quite different from those regukations and inspections in Norway (NOTE: I said MAY, I don't pretend to know the laws and regulations in those countries).

                                          1. re: bagelman01

                                            What about this example; blue fin tuna caught in the Atalantic near Gloucester is shipped to Japan where, trimming, slicing, processing and packaging occurs. Should that product be labeled Japanese Blue Fin Tuna?

                                            1. re: treb

                                              not if there is no cooking/smoking/curing

                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                Hey Bagelman01, just go back from Whole Foods, Norweigan smoked salmon on the front of the package, smoked in Poland on the back. Alaskan smoked salmon on the front of the package, processed in Seattle on the back, and there were more examples. Went to TJ's, more of the same there. Either you have one heck of a legal case against all the mega markets and their vendors or this is standard and non-deceptive practice. I'd recommend you do a tad more reasearch before singling out and slamming Costco. In the mean time, I don't think I'd hire you!

                                                1. re: treb

                                                  seems this thread was specifically about COSTCO. I wouldn't accept you or anyone else in such a matter. As I wrote upstream, what is the loss in the purchase of smoked salmon labelled as such? Nothing since Costco gives an unconditional money back guarranty.

                                                  BTW, just because a practice is 'standard' your words, or common, based on your observations, doesn't mean it isn't deceptive. That would be for a trier of fact to decide.

                                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                                    'BTW, just because a practice is 'standard' your words, or common, based on your observations, doesn't mean it isn't deceptive. That would be for a trier of fact to decide.'

                                                    Spoken like a true lawyer!, I don't fault you in your profession but, it confirms my own opinion. Enjoy your salmon.

                                                    Just pointing out 'The Facts Mam'! As Sgt. Friday would say.

                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                      I admit to some curiosity as to what your response would be to my long post below.

                                          2. re: bagelman01

                                            IT IS FARMED SALMON ,farmed in Norway,processed there and in the Netherlands

                                            Front,huge letters SMOKED SALMON ,smaller above "imported",smaller still below Norway.
                                            On the back in large type, copy/typed verbatim all five paragraphs

                                            The rich,cold waters of Norway,a prized,traditional species of salmon,a time-honored method of preparation,and modern production process.Theses are the factors involved in the making of Kirkland Signature Imported Smoked Salmon,a delicious,unique product.

                                            Kirkland Signature salmon is raised in well-established Norwegian fish farms,where they are fed nutritious,natural feed,free from hormones.The breed is Atlantic salmon ,harvested only when they meet our exacting standards pertaining to size,color,fat content and muscle tone.Then the salmon is fresh-packed for a short ferry ride to Holland.

                                            The next step is preparation.This smoked salmon is prepared using the traditional "long-smoked" process,a time-consuming smoking over a distinct blend of hardwoods (European Oak and Beech Wood).The process cannot be rushed;the result is a mild,delicate,smoked flavor that does not overwhelm the salmon's delicious natural qualities.

                                            The last step is an ultra-modern production process that safely seals in the flavor in this convenient package.

                                            Try this unique product in any way you like:on a bagel with cream cheese,in an omelette,as an appetizer or as the center piece for a complete meal.It's our firm belief that there is no finer smoked salmon in the world.

                                            Norway and Holland are the same size type on the back.

                                            If I raise geese in Maryland,conforming to all the Md Ag rules,take them to a killer in Pa,now conforming,complying to both Md&Pa Agriculture and return to sell them in Md,DC and Va.THEY ARE STILL MARYLAND GEESE,according to the laws in ALL FOUR jurisdictions.Processed in Pa is a separate line item if you will.Am I required to have a complete,in compliance paper trail for each goose?YES

                                      2. re: SWISSAIRE

                                        NO, I am not looking for any new clients. At this stage of life I'm winding down, not expanding.
                                        BUT my post never mentioned class action suits, merely consumer protection actions. I started my legal career in MA which has very friendly state consumer protection laws. I haven't practiced there in years.
                                        I no longer have a 'public' practice, but handle the legal affairs of some specific trusts.

                                    2. re: SWISSAIRE

                                      FARMED SALMON.........not caught