July 24, 2024

Top 10 Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2017: Salmonella Associated with Raw Tuna or Salmon

A Salmonella paratyphi outbreak associated with raw tuna or salmon sickened at least 30 people in seven states, and was the 7th largest food poisoning outbreak of 2017. This outbreak investigation developed gradually in the fall of 2017.

Salmonella paratyphi outbreak raw tuna

This outbreak has not been solved. Relish Foods recalled raw frozen tuna loins and tuna steaks in mid-October, but the outbreak strain of Salmonella bacteria was not found on those products. Ill persons live in Washington, Oregon, Texas, Florida, California, Hawaii, and New Jersey.

The outbreak investigation began when five Salmonella cases were reported to public health officials in late August, 2017. The DNA from the bacteria in all of these cases matched.

Then in early September, Oregon Health Authority found 12 additional cases with matching DNA. Fourteen patients were interviewed; eleven of them said they ate raw sushi before they got sick.

Samples were shipped to Washington Public Health Lab for testing. Epidemiologists assessed the data and determined that raw salmon and raw tuna were primary food items of interest. The case count rose to 22 on September 8, 2017.

One tuna sample collected from “Seafood Company X” tested positive for Salmonella, and officials recommended that restaurants hold tuna sourced form that company. The case count rose to 25. Later that month, officials found that Salmonella from that tuna did not match Salmonella from ll persons. Still, the FDA issued a recall. The case count was 30 on October 20, 2017.

Not all food poisoning outbreaks are solved. But epidemiological evidence, traceback, and interviews with ill persons can prove that an outbreak occurred.


Pritzker Hageman, America’s food safety law firm, successfully helps and represents people hurt by adulterated foods in outbreaks throughout the United States. Its lawyers have won hundreds of millions of dollars for foodborne illness patients and their families, including the largest verdict in American history for a person harmed by E. coli and hemolytic uremic syndrome. The firm also publishes the E-news site, Food Poisoning Bulletin, a respected Google News source for food safety news and information.  Pritzker Hageman lawyers are often interviewed as experts on the topic by major news outlets including the New York Times, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, the firm represents people harmed by pathogenic microorganisms in Legionnaires‘ disease, surgical site infections, and product liability cases.

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