Sealaska subsidiary’s mislabeled halibut recalled by FDA

A basket of battered hallibut in a red-and-white paper bowl
The 10-ounce frozen breaded frozen filets retail for around $8.99 and are supplied by Orca Bay Foods, a subsidiary of Sealaska Corporation. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

A labeling mistake has led the FDA to order the recall of more than two tons of packaged halibut filets produced by a subsidiary of Sealaska, the Juneau-based Alaska Native regional corporation.

The agency initiated the recall on October 23 after it was discovered that the breaded filets — advertised as gluten free — contain wheat and milk but did not reveal the presence of the potential allergens. No illnesses have been reported.

The fish was supplied and packaged by Orca Bay Foods. Since 2017 the Seattle area-based processor has been wholly owned by Sealaska, whose Alaska Native shareholders live in Southeast Alaska and the greater Pacific Northwest.

They are part of a seafood line supplied by Orca Bay and stocked by the grocery giant. Sealaska says potential fallout from the mishap isn’t yet known.

“Orca Bay is currently reviewing the root cause of the incident and determining the overall impact of the recall,” Sealaska spokesman Matt Carle wrote in an emailed statement to CoastAlaska. “We’re not sure yet on Trader Joe’s position.”

The 10-ounce frozen filets were sold in Trader Joe’s stores in 19 states — but not in Alaska.  Some 356 cases have been recalled, with an estimated retail value of around $64,000. 

Messages left with Trader Joe’s weren’t returned on Tuesday.

Jacob Resneck is CoastAlaska's regional news director in Juneau.

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