Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Sushi Sickens 62, CDC Reports

PHOTO: Frozen tuna lie on the ground during the new years first auction at the Tsukiji fish market on Jan. 5, 2010 in Tokyo.Getty Images
Frozen tuna lie on the ground during the new year's first auction at the Tsukiji fish market on Jan. 5, 2010 in Tokyo.

It’s the revenge of the tuna roll.

A widespread salmonella outbreak partially linked to sushi reportedly infected 62 people in 11 states, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The outbreak was linked to a catch of frozen yellowfin tuna that had been processed in Indonesia and sold by the Osamu Corporation, according to the CDC. Some of the fish was sold to the AFC Corporation for use in grocery store sushi.

“Most ill people in the outbreak reported eating sushi made with raw tuna in the week before becoming sick,” the CDC said in a statement.

The Osamu Corporation voluntarily recalled the frozen yellowfin tuna meat processed from that plant and sold to AFC, according to the FDA. The FDA also says that AFC “has removed the product from the marketplace and is destroying any remaining product it has”. This was because “the Minnesota Department of Health Investigators found samples … from one retail location in Minnesota to be contaminated with Salmonella”. Both the Osamu Corporation and the AFC Corporation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical School, said that the outbreak underscores the need for “excellent surveillance ... [so that] when something like this happens we can minimize the impact.”

He added that the vigilance is more imperative as food arrives from places where the Food and Drug Administration has no presence.

“Again, it emphasizes that it is a small village out there,” Schaffner told ABC News. “Not only do people travel around the world, but foodstuffs travel around the world. ... The FDA can’t be at every fishing port in Indonesia and around the world.”

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that can appear 12 to 72 hours after exposure, according to the CDC. The CDC advises pregnant women, senior citizens and anyone immunocompromised to avoid eating raw fish.