The investigation into a Salmonella outbreak which sickened at least 65 people from 11 states and hospitalized 11 of them is now over, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC noted, however, that the recalled frozen tuna linked to the outbreak has a long shelf life and may still be in freezers. “Restaurants and retailers unaware of the recalls could continue to serve and sell sushi made with recalled frozen tuna and people could get sick,” the agency stated in an Aug. 19 update. As a result of this investigation, Osamu Corporation announced two voluntary recalls last month of frozen yellowfin tuna from one processing plant in Indonesia. Details about the products affected by the recalls are available on the Advice to Restaurants, Retailers, and Consumers page. In addition, CDC stated that restaurants and retailers should not sell or serve any of the recalled tuna products. CDC recommends that such establishments carefully check freezers for recalled products and return recalled products to the distributor for a refund. “When in doubt, don’t sell or serve it,” the agency stated. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings indicated that frozen raw tuna was the likely source of this outbreak. Most ill people interviewed in the outbreak reported eating sushi made with raw tuna in the week before becoming sick. A total of 65 people infected with one of the outbreak strains of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) (64 people) or Salmonella Weltevreden (1 person) were reported from 11 states. CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System(NARMS) laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on clinical isolates collected from three ill people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+). Of the three isolates, one isolate was resistant to ampicillin and two were susceptible to all antibiotics tested on the NARMS panel. CDC stated that people at higher risk for serious foodborne illness should not eat any raw fish or raw shellfish, regardless of an ongoing outbreak. These groups include:
- Children younger than 5 years
- Adults older than 65 years
- Pregnant women
- People with weakened immune systems.
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