Mercury in swordfish, the Dimar brand product withdrawn from supermarkets: the affected lots

In some batches of swordfish of the brand Dimar there is a presence of mercury higher than the legal limits: with this motivation the Ministry of Health has ordered the recall. What to do if you realize you have bought the product.

Dimar swordfish: presence of mercury

The name of the product is “Irregular swordfish steaks”. The fish comes from the Spanish factory of Frozen Maravilla in Pontevedra, in northwestern Spain, just above the border with Portugal. There are two lots for which the Ministry of Health has ordered the withdrawal:

  • 23505-4237/internal lot 23099777;
  • 23508-4237/internal lot 23099937.

The lots are dated expiration fixed toJune 1, 2026but as mentioned, the problem is not related to the expiry of the product, but to the fact that it contains too much mercury.

“If you have purchased the above product”, warns the Ministry of Health, “please take it back to the shop“.

Mercury in fish: why it accumulates

As the website explainsHigher Institute of HealthThe methylmercury is an environmental contaminant that tends to accumulate in the organism of fish And clams based on the biomagnification process. The phrase indicates the increasing risk of accumulation of toxic substances as we move up the food chain. The phenomenon means that the mercury content in large predatory fish and older ones, such as swordfish, shark and tuna, is higher than in smaller and younger fish.

High levels of mercury can be toxic, especially for the nervous system of the children and gods fetuses. For this reason theEfsa (European Food Safety Authority) recommends a children, women of childbearing age, pregnant women or in feeding timeto consume fish 2-3 times a week, varying the species and limiting the consumption of those that could have a higher mercury content, such as large predators or sharks, swordfish, pike, tuna And hake.

Fish and shellfish can be contaminated by mercury, both due to its normal presence in the environment but also as a result of pollution. The extent of the phenomenon, however, should not cause concern since the actual risk to health, in compliance with EFSA indications, is limited. Consider that, for example, as reported by the ISS, in 2019 samples were taken from 6,739 fish products and only 25 were found to be irregular and triggered a recall. So yes to fish at the table, but varying your consumption especially if you appreciate the large predators of the seas.

Why mercury ends up in the seas

As the Ministry of the Environment website explains, mercury is present in nature as an element as it is emitted into the atmosphere as a result of natural phenomena such as forest fires, volcanic eruptions or geothermal activities. But it is estimated that most emissions occur due to human activity. The mercury is thus released into the atmosphere and then falls back to the ground and into the water due to rainfall. This gives rise to pollution of the seas.

Symptoms of mercury poisoning

The ISS specifies that different types of mercury and different modes of exposure can give rise to extremely heterogeneous symptoms. As for ingesting excessive amounts of methylmercury present in fishthe symptoms are:

  • paralysis to the hands and feet;
  • general weakness muscular;
  • damage at the viewto thehearing and difficulty articulating the wordswith possible aggravations that may result mental disorderparalysis e comain the most serious cases.