Sushi-linked salmonella outbreak reaches 20 states, yellowfin tuna recalled

BERLIN - NOVEMBER 23: Sushi from yellowfin, or maguro, tuna lies on a customer's plate at a sushi restaurant on November 23, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. Yellowfin tuna is mostly fished in the Atlantic and is among the cheaper and more plentiful varieties of tuna. Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Sushi from yellowfin tuna lies on a customer's plate at a sushi restaurant on November 23, 2010 in Berlin, Germany. Nearly 59,000 pounds of frozen yellowfin tuna have been recalled by Calif.-based Moon Marine USA Corporation, the FDA said.
Getty Images

(CBS News) Yellowfin tuna has been flagged as the culprit associated with a 20-state salmonella outbreak that has sickened 116 people, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

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The agency announced Moon Marine USA Corporation of Cupertino, Calif., will voluntarily recall nearly 59,000 pounds of a frozen yellowfin tuna product called "Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA." The product is tuna "backmeat" scraped from the bones to look like a ground product, and is not sold to customers directly in stores.

The product however is sold to restaurants and grocery store chains around the country to make sushi, sashimi, cerviche, and other raw fish-dishes. Out of the 116 people who have been sickened, 12 have been hospitalized and nobody has died.

"Consumers who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated raw Nakaochi Scrape should consult their health care providers," the FDA said in a statement. "Many of the people who became ill reported eating raw tuna in sushi as "spicy tuna."

Has the sushi outbreak hit your state? The FDA notes the number of cases in each of the 20 states: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (5), District of Columbia (2), Florida (1), 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).

Earlier this month, health officials said they were "honing in" on sushi as a potential source of a salmonella outbreak which had sickened 90 people across 19 states at the time, HealthPopreported. A leaked FDA memo that contained hospitalization information pegged sushi as the source, but officials at the time would not confirm.

To report side effects related to eating sushi, contact the FDA district office consumer complaint coordinator for your area.

Most people with a salmonella infection will develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps within 72 hours of exposure. The infection typically lasts four to seven days and most people will recover without treatment. However if the infection spreads from the gut into the bloodstream, it could spread throughout the body and cause hospitalization or death without antibiotic treatment. Infants, the elderly and pregnant women are especially at risk.

The FDA says since sushi is uncooked, it's not considered as safe as cooked seafood.

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