Hello Fresh fish diners told to ditch meal: Company apologises, promises refund

A meal home-delivery service is warning customers to not eat one of its dinners after fresh fish was found to contain levels of histamine poisonous to humans.

Hello Fresh is apologising to customers, advising them not to eat portions of trevally included in the ingredients to make a coconut fish dish in this week’s menu.

In a message to customers who ordered the meal kit, the company is warning people not to consume the fish.

“Our supplier has just advised, as of Monday, November 9, 2020, there is presence of elevated histamine levels in the “White Fish (Trevally)” that you received this week in the recipe ‘Coconut Fish & Makrut Lime Sauce with Jasmine Rice & Crispy Shallots’. As a precautionary measure, we would advise you to not consume the product.”

According to New Zealand Food Safety, histamine poisoning happens when the fish is not chilled adequately.If this happens in certain fish, including trevally, it can be toxic to humans.

People who eat the infected fish are likely to experience a number of undesirable symptoms including tingling and burning around the mouth, facial flushing, diarrhoea, skin rash, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, dizziness, palpitations, headaches and possibly respiratory distress.

Symptoms can last for up to 12 hours but there are no long-term effects.

The company has apologised to customers for the “inconvenience”.

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and will be providing a refund of the cost of the ingredient. We want to assure you the safety and quality of our ingredients is our highest priority.”

The meals are delivered nationwide to homes on Sunday.

An Auckland resident who ordered a Hello Fresh box this week said he and his family were concerned after eating the trevally.

“I understand the most common cause of this is due to inadequate refrigeration or spoiled fish.

“Hello Fresh needs to provide more information on its website as to how this occurred and provide assurance about the safety of its ingredients.”

The company provides a phone number if people have already eaten the food and are concerned.

Hello Fresh has been approached for comment.

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