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Salmonella Bareilly Outbreak Leads to Frozen Raw Yellowfin Tuna Recall

Federal health officials believe that they have identified the source of a Salmonella Bareilly food poisoning outbreak that has sickened more than 100 people throughout the United States.

Following an investigation by state and federal health officials into illnesses that appeared to be tied to sushi, the FDA announced a recall of Moon Marine’s raw yellowfin tuna, known as Nakaochi Scrape, on April 13.

According to a report issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly has sickened at least 116 people in 20 different states, causing at least 12 people to be hospitalized. However, reported cases often only represent a small portion of the true number of illnesses caused by a food poisoning outbreak.

The recall affects 58,828 pounds of frozen raw yellowfin tuna that is tuna backmeat scraped off the bones. It looks like a ground meat product.

The fish was sold to customers and to restaurants and grocery stores where it was used to make sushi, sashimi, ceviche and similar dishes, according to the FDA. Packages will have the company name, Moon Marine USA (MMI) and Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA on boxes sold to distributors. However, the FDA warns that the tuna was often broken down into smaller packaging by grocers and other sellers and may not be easily identified.

New York has reported the most cases, 24, with Wisconsin reporting 12 illnesses, Maryland reporting 11 and Illinois reporting 10 cases. Other states that have reported illnesses believed to be linked to the outbreak include Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. There have also been two cases reported in the District of Columbia.

Early reports, which were inadvertently released by FDA staff, indicated that many of the individuals appeared to have eaten spicy tuna roll sushi before suffering food poisoning symptoms. The sushi had been identified as “highly suspect.”

Bareilly salmonella poisoning, which can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, fever, chills, nausea and vomiting.  Although most healthy adults recover within a few days or weeks, young children, the elderly and those with a weakened immune system may be at a greater risk of more serious illness.

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