September 21, 2019

Scombroid Outbreak Associated with Kroger Yellowfin Tuna Steaks

The FDA is advising consumers not to eat yellowfin tuna steaks from some Kroger stores. The states affected by this recall are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Scombroid Outbreak Associated with Kroger Yellowfin Tuna Steaks

On September 4, 2019, the FDA became aware of multiple scombroid poisoning cases in people who consumed tuna steaks purchased from three separate Kroger stores in Ohio. On September 5, 2019, Kroger agreed to remove all yellowfin tuna steaks from their stores in the above states. They are also notifying consumers who had purchased this product to throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.

This product may be sold as raw yellowfin tuna steaks at the seafood counter, or seasoned in store-prepped styrofoam trays. The tuna steaks have sell by dates from August 29, 2019 through September 14, 2019.

Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating fish that has not bee properly refrigerated or preserved, so it contains high levels of histamine. Scombroid poisoning is most commonly caused by fish that have naturally high levels of the amino acid histidine. Bacteria convert that amino acid to histamine when the fish isn’t correctly stored.

Scombroid symptoms usually begin within a few minutes up to an hour after eating contaminated fish. Symptoms mimic an allergic reaction, and can include flushing of the face, headache, heart palpitations, itching, blurred vision, cramps, and diarrhea. These symptoms can be treated with antihistamines. Even if not treated, most people get better within 12 hours.

If you think you may have the symptoms of scombroid poisoning, contact a health care professional. If you have been suffering from these symptoms after eating yellowfin tuna steaks purchased from Kroger, you can fill out an adverse event report with the FDA. You can do this online, or call an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your state.

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