Indonesian-sourced tuna linked to Salmonella illnesses

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: Minnesota Department of Health
Picture: Minnesota Department of Health

Related tags Illness

Osamu Corporation is recalling all of its frozen tuna sourced from one processing plant in Indonesia because samples have been found to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The firm’s frozen Yellow Fin Tuna Chunk Meat was sold to AFC Corporation of Rancho Dominquez, California, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Investigators found samples from one retail location to be contaminated with the pathogen.

There have been two reports of illness associated with AFC sushi in Minnesota.

The outbreak does not implicate canned tuna, said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Sushi made with raw tuna

A total of 62 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) from 11 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It is unclear if all illnesses are related to Osamu Corporation or if other sources are involved.

Most ill people reported eating sushi made with raw tuna in the week before becoming sick.

The Frozen Tuna Yellow Fin Chunk Meat (Lot #68568) was shipped to AFC from 20/5/15 to 26/5/15.

AFC has removed it and is destroying any remaining product.

It has sushi franchises nationwide in different grocery stores and it is sold from sushi counters.

Osamu Corporation’s frozen tuna (loin, saku, chunk, slice, and ground market forms) was sold in bulk packaging to distributors.

They would have then sold it to sushi restaurants, and grocery stores who packaged sushi rolls for consumers to purchase and take home from 9/5/14 to 9/7/15 containing all sequential four digit Purchase Order Numbers (PO#) of 8563 through 8599.

Ongoing investigation

The number of ill people reported from each 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 to June 30 and ill people range in age from younger than 1 year to 83 and 56% are male.

Among 57 people with available information, 11 (19%) have been hospitalized but no deaths have been reported.

FDA said it is increasing its monitoring of tuna and conducting a traceback investigation.

“The FDA is evaluating and analyzing records to determine whether there is a common source of tuna. 

“This is labor intensive and painstaking work, requiring the collection, review and analysis of hundreds and at times thousands of invoices and shipping documents.”​ 

Consumers concerned about whether the sushi they purchased may contain the recalled tuna product should check with the restaurant or store where they purchased it, said the firm.  

Customers who have purchased the frozen tuna products from distributors are urged to return it for a full refund. 

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