1/4/12 Live catfish for sale in the seafood department of Asian Food Market in Marlboro Wednesday January 4. Staff photo Tanya Breen
Staff photo Tanya Breen

JACKSON, Miss. — The discovery of a banned chemical in a massive delivery of fish has forced a Mississippi company to issue a recall.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, Heartland Catfish Co. on Friday recalled more than 69,000 pounds of catfish products believed to be contaminated with leucomalachite, a chemical derived from a dye used in the aquatics industry to treat certain types of infections that can be harmful to humans.

The various catfish products were produced Feb. 16 and bear establishment number "EST. 45777" inside the USDA mark of inspection. The items were shipped to retail stores in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Vermont. 

The problem was discovered on March 8 after routine sampling by the Food Safety and Inspection Service.

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The agency said there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, but consumers who have purchased any are urged not to consume them. They should either be returned to the place of purchase or thrown away, officials said.

Any consumers concerned about an injury or illness should contact a health care provider. Those who have purchased these products are urged to discard them or return them to the place of purchase. 

Contributing: The Arizona Republic