Frozen Tuna Recalls Issued As Sushi Salmonella Outbreak Sickens Dozens

At least 62 people in 11 states have fallen ill from salmonella food poisoning likely linked to frozen raw tuna used in various sushi products. 

The FDA has announced an Osamu frozen tuna recall this week, following reports of a multistate salmonella food poisoning outbreak.

The action was first announced on July 20, when the company recalled all of its frozen tuna from one processing plant in Indonesia. A recall expansion was announced on July 21, to include one entire lot of Frozen Yellow Fin Tuna Chunk Meat sold to AFC Corporation.

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According to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outbreak report issued this week, at least 62 people have been affected by the Salmonella Paratyph B varant L tartrate bacteria outbreak as of July 20.

More than half those who have fallen ill were in California. Other states affected include Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Most of those who have fallen ill reported eating sushi made with raw tuni the week before their illness began.

Those who have fallen ill range in ages from less than one years old to 83. At least 11 of the victims required hospitalization, but there have been no deaths associated with the outbreak to date.

The recall affects all Osamu frozen tuna sold to restaurants and grocery stores in the U.S. from May 9, 2014 through July 9, 2015, including loin, saku, chunk, slice and ground market forms. These affected products have a four-digit purchase order number with a range from 8563 through 8599, which is located on the product carton box. In addition, one lot of frozen yellowfin tuna chunk meat distributed to AFC Corporation and used in sushi franchises in grocery stores is also affected. It has a lot number of 68568 and was sold from May 20, 2015 to May 26, 2015 nationwide.

The Salmonella Paratyhphi B strain usually causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after exposure. These symptoms can be mild to severe and could become fatal if not treated with antibiotics. The CDC warns that individuals younger than five years old or older than 65, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk.

This outbreak comes less than two months after a similar raw tuna samonella food poisoning outbreak hospitalized at least 11 people in May, linked to the same type of salmonella.

The FDA and CDC have called on restaurants and retailers not to sell or serve any of the affected frozen raw tuna. They have requested that retailers and restaurants carefully check their freezers for the recalled tuna products. Osamu Corporation has asked that the tuna be returned for a full refund.


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