Sushi Food Poisoning Lawsuit Filed Over Salmonella Outbreak

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By: Staff Writers | Published: April 24th, 2012

A food poisoning lawsuit has been filed by two women who were sickened after eating sushi rolls that contained recalled yellowfin tuna from Moon Marine.

The complaint, which was brought by Amy Karfonta and Amber Azzolina, is believed to be the first lawsuit resulting from a sushi salmonella outbreak that surfaced earlier this month, sickening more than 160 people in 20 states.

Moon Marine issued a yellowfin tuna recall on April 13, indicating that nearly 60,000 pounds of frozen raw yellowfin tuna known as Nakaochi Scrape, which is tuna backmeat scraped off the bones, may be contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

Azzolina and Karfona allege that they suffered severe food poisoning after eating sushi containing the meat. Karfona indicates that her colon was so ulcerated that she may have to have it removed. Azzolina had bloody diarrhea for nine days and has lost eight pounds due to the illness. She also was forced to miss a physical test for a job at a local police department. She is awaiting test results to see how badly her colon was damaged by the illness.

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.

The recalled sushi products may contain Bareilly salmonella, 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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