Sick Count Rises To Nearly 400 From Salmonella Tuna Outbreak

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The initial April CDC report of 100 people being sickened by an outbreak of two rare strains of salmonella detected in raw tuna products has grown to nearly 400.

In late June, the CDC indicated 390 persons were infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Bareilly (376 persons) or Salmonella Nchanga (14 persons) from 27 states and the District of Columbia.

Thus far, 47 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. The product responsible has been identified as raw Nakaochi Scrape tuna, known as Nakaochi Scrape, produced by Moon Marine USA Corporation, based in Cupertino, California.

Consumers should not eat the recalled product, and retailers should not serve the recalled raw Nakaochi Scrape tuna product.

Nakaochi Scrape is tuna backmeat that is scraped from the bones of tuna, and looks like raw ground tuna. Although Nakaochi Scrape is not available for sale to individual consumers, the backmeat may be used in sushi, sashimi, ceviche, and similar dishes.

According to the CDC, laboratory testing conducted by state public health laboratories in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin has isolated Salmonella from 53 (96%) of 55 samples taken from intact packages of frozen yellow fin tuna scrape from Moon Marine USA Corporation or from sushi prepared with the implicated scrape tuna product.

Although the CDC claims the numbers of new cases have declined substantially since the peak in April 2012, the outbreak may continue at a low level for the next several months since some food establishments may be unaware that they received recalled product and continue to serve this frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, which has a long shelf-life.

MSNBC reports Seattle food safety lawyer Bill Marler has called on the federal Food and Drug Administration to release the names of all restaurants and other outlets where the contaminated product was distributed. FDA officials did not respond.

The number of ill persons with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bareilly identified in each state is as follows:

Alabama (4), Arkansas (1), California (7), Colorado (1), Connecticut (11), District of Columbia (3), Florida (1), Georgia (18), Illinois (29), Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Louisiana (6), Massachusetts (36), Maryland (39), Missouri (4), Mississippi (2), Nebraska (2), New Jersey (35), New York (58), North Carolina (12), Pennsylvania (34), Rhode Island (6), South Carolina (4), Tennessee (4), Texas (13), Virginia (22), Vermont (1), and Wisconsin (21).

Fourteen persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Nchanga have been reported from 7 states. The number of ill persons with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Nchanga identified in each state is as follows:

Georgia (2), Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (6), Texas (1), Virginia (1), and Wisconsin (1).

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper

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