“If anyone on #TheSickTour would like to get sushi lunch with me, meet by the bus in 30 minutes!”
That’s what Chris Fronzak – the frontman of the heavy metal band Attila – tweeted the morning of April 10 during the Louisiana stint of the band’s “The Sick Tour.” About 30 hours after Fronzak ate his sushi, The Sick Tour became just that, as the singer was hit with extreme nausea and began to vomit.
Fronzak had become one of the many victims of a multistate Salmonella outbreak tied to contaminated sushi tuna that has now sickened at least 268 people in 24 states and the District of Columbia, landing 32 in the hospital.
Fronzak says he became alarmed when he noticed blood in his vomit the night he became ill, but decided that the show must go on.
“If I wasn’t the lead singer of the band I would’ve loved to have just not played but without me they couldn’t have played any shows, and it would have cost a substantial financial loss, so I had to just go up there and do it,” he says.
A week later, when his symptoms had not subsided, Fronzak took advantage of a day off in Kansas City, Missouri to use his phone’s GPS to locate the nearest hospital. Lacking a mode of transportation after the tour bus dropped off the band, the singer made his way on foot to seek medical attention over a mile away.
After undergoing tests and receiving IV fluids, he was released a few hours later. While he had saved his band from profit loss, Fronzak – who is uninsured – incurred almost $10,000 in medical bills.
Two days later a call from the doctor confirmed that he had Salmonella poisoning.
“I was surprised when I found out I had salmonella but when I finally linked everything together – when I found out about the Moon Marine company – it made sense,” says Fronzak.
Moon Marine Corporation is the company that imported and distributed the frozen “Nakaochi Scrape” ground tuna product implicated in the outbreak.
Nearly 59,000 lbs. of the product have since been recalled, but illnesses are still being reported. While cases were originally clustered on the Eastern Seabord, and Gulf Coast, the outbreak has expanded throughout the south central U.S. and is now known to extend as far as California.
Fronzak filed suit against the company Friday. The case is being brought by attorney Bill Marler, who is also publisher of Food Safety News.
Bottom photo courtesy of Chris Fronzak posted via Twitter on April 17, 2012.