For many, red caviar is an indispensable attribute of the New Year’s table, so on the eve of the holidays, supervisory authorities have been checking jars of caviar for several years now and have found a large number of violations related to the process of making these canned foods. Most often, E. coli is found in caviar, which is especially dangerous for young children, gastroenterologist and expert at the Gemotest laboratory Ekaterina Kashukh told Izvestia.
“Most often, E. coli is found in caviar, less often – Staphylococcus aureus, salmonella, and clostridia. These microorganisms can be contained in water, soil, food, and transmitted from person to person through the oral-fecal and household routes,” said Kashuh.
According to her, E. coli and other pathogenic microorganisms end up in jars of caviar if technology and sanitary standards are not followed during its processing.
“E. coli causes an intestinal infection, which is manifested by nausea, vomiting, fever, loose stools, flatulence and abdominal pain. As a rule, the disease goes away without complications, except for spoiled holidays. But in young children and people with weakened immune systems, E. coli can cause severe dehydration and urinary tract infections,” the gastroenterologist noted.
Staphylococcus also causes intestinal infections. Salmonella is the causative agent of salmonellosis. This disease is similar in its manifestations to an intestinal infection and can cause a large number of complications – reactive arthritis and other inflammatory processes, the specialist added.
She also noted that every year supervisory authorities detect the preservative E239 (urotropine) in some samples of red caviar.
“It was banned from using in the manufacture of canned grain caviar almost 15 years ago, but some manufacturers still choose this particular substance in order to ensure long-term storage of products. During the digestion process, the preservative releases formaldehyde – toxic substances that can lead to poisoning,” said Kashuh.
In addition, as the doctor said, granular caviar is quite often falsified. For example, jars labeled “sockeye salmon caviar” contain cheaper pink salmon caviar; the product may contain not natural, but artificial caviar made from fish.
“When making canned food, technology may be violated: if it is not fresh caviar immediately after catch that is processed, but frozen raw materials, the jar may contain a large number of burst eggs and liquid leaking from them. Such a product is not dangerous to health, but much less tasty,” the gastroenterologist summed up.
Earlier that day, it was reported that Roskachestvo specialists examined red caviar from common brands and identified E. coli in the products of eight manufacturers.
At the end of November, Rospotrebnadzor reported that 20% of caviar in Russia does not meet consumer requirements. Over the nine months of 2023, more than 700 caviar samples were examined, 10% of which did not meet the requirements for microbiological indicators, 10% – for physicochemical indicators. At the same time, the service noted that the issue of labeling sturgeon and salmon caviar was being considered.