400 Sickened in Tuna Salmonella Outbreak

400 Sickened in Tuna Salmonella OutbreakThe growing tuna Salmonella outbreak has sickened about 400 people in 27 states and the District of Columbia. The outbreak involves two rare Salmonella strains.

According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said MSNBC, 390 people have been sickened and 47 have required hospitalization in an outbreak that involves both Salmonella Nchanga (which has sickened 14) and Salmonella Bareilly (which has sickened 376). The pathogens have been linked to raw Nakaochi Scrape tuna manufactured by Moon Marine USA Corp. of Cupertino, California.

As we’ve written, the recall is complex, not just because Salmonella Bareilly and Salmonella Nchanga are rare strains of the pathogen, but also because the recalled Nakaochi Scrape, although not available for individual consumer sale, is used in the making of sushi, sashimi, ceviche, and other similar dishes that are purchased from grocery stores or ordered at restaurants. Because of the vast distribution chain and that the fish is delivered frozen, it is difficult to determine to where the fish may have ultimately been delivered and if all recipients are aware that they are in possession of the contaminated Nakaochi Scrape.

Government laboratories isolated Salmonella from 96% of samples derived from intact yellow fin tuna scrape produced by Moon Marine, said MSNBC previously. The outbreak initially prompted a recall of 30 tons (58,828 pounds) of raw, frozen tuna that originated in India and was originally distributed by Moon Marine USA Corporation, also known as (AKA) MMI of Cupertino, California. Labeled as Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA Nakaochi Scrape, the product is tuna backmeat scraped from the bones and looks like a ground product.

Although the numbers of new cases has declined since the outbreak peaked in April, illnesses may continue since some establishments may be unaware that they are in possession of a recalled, potentially tainted product, explained MSNBC. The recalled raw, yellowfin tuna has a long shelf life.

Food safety officials point out that for every Salmonella infection reported, some 29.3 are never reported. Using that multiplier, the number of people actually sickened in the United States as a result of the contaminated tuna is closer to 11,5427. There have been no reported deaths.

To date, two women have filed a lawsuit against Moon Marine. Both are from Wisconsin—ages 22 and 33—and both were hospitalized due to a bout of Salmonellosis they contracted six-to-nine weeks prior, said MSNBC previously. The women dined separately, but at the same restaurant. Both consumed tuna rolls originally sold by Moon Marine.

The most common symptoms of Salmonella poisoning—salmonellosis—are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever, with symptoms usually manifesting within six to 72 hours. Additional symptoms include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting that can last up to seven days. The illness usually lasts four to seven days; however, in some, the organism can invade the bloodstream, becoming so severe that hospitalization is required.

Salmonellosis can be dangerous, even deadly and, sometimes, infection can result in, and produce more severe or chronic illnesses and sufferers can be left with serious life-long health issues. Salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial food borne illnesses, can be especially life threatening to those with weakened immune systems, such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or who are undergoing chemotherapy.

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