May 29, 2024

Raw Tuna in Oahu, Hawaii Tests Positive for Hepatitis A

The Hawaii State Department of Health has been notified that imported frozen raw tuna has tested positive for the hepatitis A virus. This product, which was imported from Indonesia and distributed by Tropic Fish Hawaii, LLC, was used to prepare poke sold between April 27 and May 1, 2017 by food establishments on Oahu.

raw tuna on plate

Poke is a raw fish salad. It is served as both an appetizer and a main dish.

The imported frozen fish was used to prepare poke that was sold at Times Supermarket and Shima’s in Aiea, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kunia, Liliha, Mililani, Waipahu, and Waimanalo. The product was also used to prepare food served or sold by GP Hawaiian Food Catering, the Crab Shack Kapolei (also known as Maile Sunset Bar & Grill in Kapolei), Aloha Sushi at 3131 N. Nimitz, and the ABC store at 205 Lewers St.

If you purchased this product or ate raw tuna at or from any of these locations, you may have been exposed to hepatitis A. Consult with your doctor about vaccination. Since it has been less than two weeks since the product was sold, you may be able to get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination against the illness.

Peter Oshiro, chief of the DOH Food Safety Program said, “Times Supermarket and Tropic Fish notified the department as soon as they learned of the test results on the imported fish.¬†All of the product is being traced, collected and held by the distributor. Fortunately, in this case, Tropic Fish Hawaii kept excellent records and has been contacting all retailers and pulling the product quickly.”

Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist, said, “Because it generally takes two weeks for those infected to develop symptoms of hepatitis A, vaccination or immune globulin can still provide some protection against the disease for those who may have been exposed in the last week. We remind those who received their first dose of hepatitis A vaccination during an earlier outbreak on Oahu to obtain their second dose for long term immunity.”

If you do not get a vaccination, you should monitor yourself for symptoms of hepatitis A infection for the next 50 days. Those symptoms usually appear about 2 to 6 weeks after exposure. They include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), and clay-colored stools.

Unfortunately, infected people are contagious for two weeks before symptoms appear. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing and serving food. Stay at home and contact your doctor if symptoms do develop. Food handlers who have been exposed to the disease may need to be tested.

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