The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that the Salmonella outbreak linked to frozen raw tuna has ended after sickening 65 people in 11 states. Eleven people were hospitalized in this outbreak; no deaths were reported.
Since the last update on July 22, 2015, two additional ill persons were added to the case count, one from California and one from Arizona. Health officials also identified a second outbreak strain, Salmonella Weltevreden.
The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department collected unopened frozen ground tuna products from various retail locations and tested them. Salmonella Newport was isolated from one sample and Salmonella Weltevreden was isolated in another sample. The samples were from two different lots of frozen ground tuna products imported from Indonesia by Osamu Corporation. (On May 27, Osamu Corporation issued a recall for frozen, ground yellowfin tuna imported from Indonesia.)
Previously, the Minnesota Department of Health found the outbreak strain of Salmonella Paratyphi B varying L(+) tartrate(+) from samples of unopened frozen raw tuna products purchased from a Minnesota grocery store. Those products were one lot of Osamu Corporation tuna imported from Indonesia.
After Arizona’s discovery of a second strain, Minnesota conducted further tests on their product samples. Results revealed the presence of two different strains of Salmonella Weltevreden. The genetic fingerprint of one of these strains matched the fingerprint of a Salmonella strain that had sickened one person in Arizona. That patient reported eating sushi containing raw tuna in the week before developing symptoms of a Salmonella infection and was added to the outbreak total.
The final case count by state is: Arizona (12), California (35), Illinois (1), Michigan (2), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (1), New Mexico (6), South Dakota (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates ranged from March 5, 2015, to July 20, 2015. The patient age range was from younger than 1 year to 83, with a median age of 31.
Osamu Corporation announced two voluntary recalls of frozen yellowfish tuna from one processing plant in Indonesia as a result of this outbreak. Public health officials are concerned that this tuna has a long life in the freezer and may still be in some consumer’s and retailer’s kitchens.
In addition, two Minnesota residents were sickened after eating spicy tuna rolls purchased at a grocery store and at a workplace cafeteria. The outbreak strain of Salmonella was found in sealed bags of frozen raw tuna from the lot used to make those rolls. This is the evidence that this imported tuna caused these illnesses.
If you do have this tuna in your freezer, discard it; do not cook it or eat it, or return to the place of purchase for a refund. The lot number on the tuna is 68568. If you ate any of this tuna and experienced the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, see your doctor, then call our experienced lawyers for help protecting your legal rights.
The symptoms of this illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, abdominal cramps, chills, headache, and muscle pains. People usually get sick about 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Most people recover within about a week, but some patients can become seriously ill and die from a Salmonella infection.
Long term complications of a Salmonella infection can be serious, including reactive arthritis, also known as Reiter’s Syndrome, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome. If you have had this infection, it should be noted on your health chart in case these issues develop.