The manufacturer of raw yellow-fin tuna frequently used for sushi, sashimi, ceviche and other dishes, is recalling nearly 59,000 pounds of the product because of possible salmonella contamination.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the recall by Moon Marine USA Corporation of Cupertino, CA, on Friday, after 116 reports of salmonella outbreaks in 20 states and the District of Columbia. New York has reported the most cases so far, according to a report in Newsday. This includes nine cases in Suffolk County, on the eastern end of Long Island. No deaths have been reported to date but 12 people have been hospitalized.
The specific product is labeled Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA, . This is tuna back meat, which is specifically scraped off from the bones, and looks like a ground product. Although the product is not directly to consumers, it may have been used to make various raw tuna products in restaurants. Patrons reported symptoms of salmonella after eating what is known as “spicy tuna.” Anyone that suspects they may have eaten this type of tuna should check with the venue that served it, and see a physician as soon as possible.
Salmonella infection occurs after eating certain raw, undercooked, or improperly handled food, including poultry and eggs, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, or blood in the stool. Symptoms usually occur several hours or even several days after eating a contaminated product, and can last four to seven days. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said that salmonella infection is one of the most common types of food poisoning in the United States. An estimated 40,000 individuals experience symptoms of this illness each year – patients under age 20 are most frequently affected.
Most otherwise healthy people infected with salmonella recover quickly, but dehydration from diarrhea, especially in young children and infants, is a dangerous complication.Salmonella can cause more serious illness in older adults, infants, and in those with chronic diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with state and local public health officials to identify locations where Nakaochi Scrape may have been served. They have already identified several clusters in four states that received shipments of the raw tuna from the same processing plant in India.
To prevent salmonella, the New York State Department of Health advises to never eat raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood or pork. Also avoid raw or unpasteurized milk and other dairy products. Wash hands thoroughly after handling these foods and wash cutting boards and counters used for their preparation immediately, to prevent cross contamination with other foods. Using meat thermometer will ensure that foods are fully cooked to their proper internal temperatures.