The Salmonella Paratyphi outbreak that has been linked to sushi made with raw tuna has now sickened 62 people in 11 states. Osamu brand raw frozen tuna has been recalled in connection with this outbreak in Minnesota. Eleven people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported to date.
The outbreak is caused by Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) bacteria, formerly known as Salmonella Java. Most ill people reported eating sushi made with raw tuna the week before they got sick.
The case count by state is: Arizona (11), California (34), Illinois (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (1), New Mexico (6), South Dakota (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from March 5, 2015 to July 7, 2015. The age range is from younger than 1 year to 83.
The Osamu Corporation has issued two recalls of their tuna that was processed in Indonesia. The first recall is for all Osamu frozen tuna sold to restaurants and grocery stores throughout the U.S. from May 9, 2015 to July 9, 2015. Affected products have the four-digit purchase order numbers 8563 through 8599 on the carton.
The second recall is for one lot of frozen yellowish tuna chunk meat distributed to AFC Corporation for use in sushi franchises in grocery stores throughout the country from May 20, 2015 to May 26, 2015. This product has the lot number 68568. The Minnesota Department of Health isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella from a sample of unopened frozen raw tuna taken from a Minnesota grocery store where one ill person shopped.
Check your fridge and freezer to see if you have any of this tuna or any sushi rolls made with this tuna. Your grocery store or restaurant should be able to tell you if you purchased product made with this tuna. If you do have it, throw it away in a sealed container so other people and animals can’t get at it, or return to the place of purchase for a refund.
Public health officials recommend that some people should not eat any raw fish or raw shellfish at any time, even when there isn’t an outbreak. Those groups include children younger than 5, adults older than 65, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.
The symptoms of this type of Salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps that occur 12 to 72 hours after exposure. Most people recover within a week, but some can become so ill, with dehydration or sepsis, that they require hospitalization. If you have eaten raw tuna in the last 14 months and have experienced these symptoms, please see your doctor.