ALERT: Tuna Linked To Salmonella Outbreak In 20 States

Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2012 01:36 pm
Tuna Linked To Salmonella Outbreak In 20 States
by The Associated Press
April 13, 2012

A yellowfin tuna product used to make dishes like sushi and sashimi sold at restaurants and grocery stores has been linked with an outbreak of salmonella that has sickened more than 100 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia, federal health authorities said Friday.

The Food and Drug Administration said 116 illnesses have been reported, including 12 people who have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Moon Marine USA Corp. of Cupertino, Calif., also known as MMI, is voluntarily recalling 58,828 pounds of frozen raw yellowfin tuna. It was labeled as Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA when it was sold to grocery stores and restaurants and is scraped off the fish bones and looks like a ground product.

The product is not available for sale to individual consumers but may have been used to make sushi, sashimi, ceviche and similar dishes available in restaurants and grocery stores. Many of the people who became ill reported eating raw tuna in sushi as "spicy tuna," the FDA said.

Reports of the foodborne illness caused by Salmonella bareilly have mainly come from the Eastern Seaboard and South, though cases have been reported as far west as Missouri and Texas.

As of Friday, illness had been reported these states and the District of Columbia: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (5), District of Columbia (2), Florida (1), As Georgia (5), Illinois (10), Louisiana (2), Maryland (11), Massachusetts (8), Mississippi (1), Missouri (2), New Jersey (7), New York (24), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (5), Rhode Island (5), South Carolina (3), Texas (3), Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (12).

The memo notes there is likely a 30-day lag time between when people become sick and when cases are reported to health officials.

The raw yellowfin tuna product may have passed through several distributors before reaching the restaurant and grocery market and may not be clearly labeled.

Previous outbreaks of salmonella bareilly have been linked to bean sprouts, which are grown in warm, damp conditions.

The most common symptoms of salmonella are diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever within eight to 72 hours of eating the contaminated food. The illness can be severe or even life-threatening for infants, older people, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

The FDA recommended that people be cautious about eating raw seafood, inquire about the source and "when in doubt, don't eat it."
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Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 05:31 am
Ive never liked ANY of the spicy tuna or processed sushi dishes they serve at restaurants. S{picy tuna has always appeared to me to be junk hunks of tuna, run through a grinder and then mixed with wasabi mayo. BLACCHHH.

I do not know who the hell ever came up with that kind of ****. Here in the SE sections of Pa, (under the umbrela of Philly culture) sushi restaurants serve a variant called "A PHILLY ROLL" . (This is gonna gag any sushi lover).
Its a mass of ground up tuna and salmon, mixed throughout with Philly CREAM CHEESE!!! and served witndollops of wasabi and fish eggs.
Fuckin thing oughta be served on a bagel with a sice of onion. I bitch every time I see this kinda shiot on a sushi house menu. I think they are trying to appeal to a wider market but instead , I think the wider market candidates should stay the hell home.

Why am I not surprised when you mix mayo with your tuna and then stash it in a bain marie with an open back that this crap wont become infected??
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 08:38 am
That is hard to learn about - one of my favorites from a japanese restaurant in northern california was 'spicy tuna roll' - only that spicy tuna roll was fantastic. They used very fresh raw tuna (this was in a tuna catching seaport), and none of the crud you're talking about. Ugh to that.
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 09:04 am
what was in the spicy part?
Reply Sun 15 Apr, 2012 10:04 am
I don't remember - last ate there seven years ago. That deli was taken over by other folks after I left town.. so I can't check.

but I posted on this before and found a photo and recipe re something similar - though I doubt there was any sriracha in it.
It was relatively simple re ingredients, so I'm guessing Asian chile oil.
Reply Mon 16 Apr, 2012 01:05 pm
Is 'Tuna Scrape' The 'Pink Slime' Of Sushi?
April 16, 2012
by Nancy Shute - NPR

Spicy tuna roll, or spicy tuna goo?

The fact that there has been a salmonella outbreak among people who eat sushi isn't super surprising; raw seafood does pose more health risks than cooked fish.

But the fact that the fish implicated in the outbreak is something called "tuna scrape" sure got our attention here at The Salt.

According to the Food and Drug Administration's recall notice, tuna scrape is "tuna backmeat, which is specifically scraped off from the bones, and looks like a ground product." In other words, tuna hamburger.

The product, Nakaochi Scrape, was sold frozen to restaurants and supermarkets, which used it to make sushi, particularly spicy tuna rolls. Of the 116 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia who have fallen ill so far, many reported they had eaten spicy tuna rolls. The distributor has recalled 58,828 pounds of the stuff.

Given all the commotion over "pink slime," a derogatory moniker for processed beef trimmings, the notion of frozen tuna goo being used to make sushi is less than appetizing. But is it any more dangerous than regular sushi?

To find out, we called up Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia. He was just about to jet off to a big food safety conference in China.

This was the first he had heard of tuna scrape. But, he added, "There are a lot of things we haven't heard of that the industry is doing."

He said there are two things to consider when thinking about health and ground up fish. The first is the fact that the tuna scrape is served raw. "My rule of thumb is that raw food of animal origin should be cooked before it's eaten."

The second issue is whether grinding the fish creates the potential for more problems. That's been the case with hamburger, because contamination from one carcass can be spread through an entire batch. "For chicken, turkey and beef, the ground product tends to be more contaminated than the whole cuts," Doyle says.

Is that also true for fish? "I don't think enough research has been done on these products," he responds.

There's also a third thing to consider in this case. Just because a food has been frozen doesn't mean it's germ-free.

Freezing is good at killing parasites, Doyle says, but bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella often snooze through a freezing, emerging from their slumber just as dangerous as before. Evidently the Salmonella bareilly that have sickened the people in this current outbreak just love chilling.

So there you have it. Raw fish, not as safe as cooked fish. Ground-up raw fish, who knows?

Given that the fish in the recall was imported, and fish is the No. 1 culprit in outbreaks caused by imported food, maybe it's time to lay off the spicy tuna rolls.

More than three-quarters of seafood consumed in the United States is imported.
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