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Wal-Mart resumes sales of crawfish tails. (Restaurant and Food).

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pulled Chinese shrimp and crawfish from its shelves in three states in May and June after tests of 10 samples from various Louisiana stores found all 10 contained chloramphenicol, an antibiotic that was banned in the United States a decade ago.

One sample that tested positive was a package of shrimp purchased from a Wal-Mart store, according to an article in The Houma Courier of southern Louisiana. That sample had 5.2 parts per billion of chloramphenicol, well over the legal limit of one part per billion, the article stated.

Bob Odom, Louisiana's agriculture commissioner, who initiated the investigation, said one of the crawfish samples contained 20 times the allowable limit of chloramphenicol, according to an article from The Associated Press. The articles didn't specify the names of stores that sold the other nine samples.

A northwest Arkansas resident said she recently tried to purchase a package of "Bernard's brand cleaned and peeled crawfish tails with fat" at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Mall Avenue in Fayetteville. The computer display on the checkout machine read "do not sell" when the bar code was scanned. A Wal-Mart employee told her the crawfish tails, which are imported from China by Cajun Crawfish Distributing Inc. of Marrero, La., had been recalled.

Karen Burk, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, said shrimp and crawfish were pulled from the company's stores in Louisiana, Alabama and Texas, but not Arkansas. The "do not sell" message may have been the result of a glitch in the system.

"We have pulled all the product off the shelves in those states," Burk said. "As we bring new product in, it is being tested and placed on the shelves.

Burk said Wal-Mart is now checking to make sure suppliers have documentation that seafood has been tested for chloramphenicol, which is used in China to eliminate organisms that hamper crawfish production for growers. It's being studied as a possible contributor to development of aplastic anemia and inadequate formation of blood cells in marrow in humans.
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Title Annotation:three stores temporarily withdrew sales of Chinese shrimp and crawfish found to contain chloramphenicol, a banned antibiotic
Comment:Wal-Mart resumes sales of crawfish tails. (Restaurant and Food).(three stores temporarily withdrew sales of Chinese shrimp and crawfish found to contain chloramphenicol, a banned antibiotic)
Author:Bowden, Bill
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 22, 2002
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