California-based importer Moon Marine USA Corporation (MMI) is voluntarily recalling 58,828 pounds of Nakaochi Scrape AA and AAA – a tuna back meat which is scraped from the fish bones.
The product, which looks like raw ground tuna, is not available for sale to individual consumers but may have been used to make sushi, sashimi, ceviche and similar dishes.
According to the FDA, many of those who have fallen ill reported eating raw tuna in ‘spicy tuna’ sushi.
State, local and public health agencies are working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct a trace back of the tuna and have identified the ‘tuna scrape’ product from MMI as the “likely source of this outbreak.”
“The Nakaochi Scrape AA and AAA from MMI was sold through distributors to restaurants and grocery stores that make sushi, and has been linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly, which has caused 116 illnesses in 20 states and the District of Columbia to date,” said a FDA statement.
New York State is the worst affected area, accounting for a total of 24 of the 116 illnesses.
States including New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia and Massachusetts have also been affected by the outbreak.
“Of the reported illnesses, there have been 12 hospitalisations, and no deaths.”
The FDA is urging those who purchase food that may contain the product in question to check with the supplier if it contains the raw recalled product.
It has also urged product sellers to consult their suppliers as the recalled product may not be accompanied by lot numbers or labeling information.
“Distributors and end users should consult their suppliers to determine the origin of any Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA in their possession.”
“Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health agencies indicate that a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, from Moon Marine USA Corporation is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly infections,” said information from the CDC.
To-date, investigators have identified a total of seven clusters – establishments where two or more unrelated victims reported eating in the week before falling ill.
These clusters are located in five states – Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin.
“State and local public health and regulatory officials are working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct a traceback of tuna.”
“FDA has selected four of the clusters, which are located in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin, as the focus of the initial investigation. Information to date indicates that all four received the same imported frozen raw Nakaochi Scrape tuna product from a single processing facility in India,” the CDC added.