Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement about an ongoing investigation into reports that various frozen yellowish tuna products distributed by Hilo Fish Company may have been contaminated with hepatitis A. Romper has reached out to the Hawaii-based importer and is awaiting a response. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is not aware of any illnesses related to this reported outbreak to date, consumers may still be at risk of infection. As hepatitis A can have serious health consequences — such as flu-like symptoms, abdominal pain, and jaundice — many may be wondering how to know if their frozen tuna was recalled and what to do if they’ve come in contact with the affected seafood.
The FDA provided a list of retailers and restaurants — including hotels, a retirement community, and large distributors like Sysco — in Texas, Oklahoma, and California that had received shipments of potentially contaminated tuna and noted that all have been notified of the outbreak by the company.
On May 18, Hilo Fish Company launched a voluntary recall of tuna sourced from Sustainable Seafood Company in Vietnam and Santa Cruz Seafood, Inc. in the Philippines after the Hawaii Department of Health discovered the contagious virus tested positive in some products that were shipped to the mainland, according to the FDA.
While it’s not likely that these products would be bought in your local grocery store, you will want to be extra vigilant just in case you do find any contaminated frozen tuna products in your freezer. The recalled products include:
- Frozen yellowfin tuna steaks from Sustainable Seafood Company
- Yellowfin tuna cubes from Santa Cruz Seafood
- Individually wrapped 8-ounce tuna steaks from Hilo Fish Company with an expiration date of Oct. 1, 2018
- 15-pound case of frozen yellowfin tuna cubes with an expiration date of April 4, 2019
If you're looking for the specific case codes, they are available on the FDA's website as well.
So far, both the FDA and CDC have not reported any illnesses related to this recall. But if you believe you've consumed a recalled product and begin to experience fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine, and pale stool — see your health care provider as soon as possible as the infection can last a few weeks to several months depending on the severity.
Symptoms may also not appear until 15 to 50 days after consuming an infected product and adults are more likely to experience them than children, according to the FDA.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection that is most commonly spread through contaminated food or water. The CDC website states that the virus can also easily spread from an infected person to a close contact who is not vaccinated, such as family members or a sexual partner.
As with most viruses, the CDC states that the standard course of treatment for hepatitis A is usually rest, adequate nutrition, and fluids. Still, the best way to prevent this type of illness is by getting vaccinated. Children can receive the hepatitis A vaccine once they turn 1 year old.
So until public health officials have given the all clear for these products, it might be a good idea to lay off the poke bowls for a while.