Miss. bars sale of Chinese catfish in three stores

Published 4:37 pm Thursday, May 3, 2007

Mississippi regulators have stopped the sales of imported Chinese catfish in grocery stores in Forest, Pontotoc and Quitman.

Agriculture Commissioner Lester Spell said Tuesday that the stop sale order was issued because of adulteration from banned antibiotics. Adulteration is defined as not conforming to legal standards of purity, processing or labeling.

The catfish were being sold at Save-A-Lot in Pontotoc and Houston, Sunflower Food Store in Quitman, and Aultman’s Super Value in Forest.

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Spell said state regulators’ authority is limited to retail grocery stores. He said testing would continue.

“There is the possibility that these same adulterated fish are being offered to customers at hospitals, public schools, nursing homes, and public restaurants,” Spell said.

Under the Retail Food Sanitation Law, the maximum administrative fines that can be imposed are $500 for the first violation and up to $1,000 for each subsequent violation. Spell did not say if any fines were issued.