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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2012

 

CONTACT:
Jim Dick, DATCP (608) 224-5020
Jan Klawitter, WSLH (608) 265-2529
Stephanie Smiley, DHS (608) 266-5862

WISCONSIN LABORATORY TESTING CONFIRMS SALMONELLA BAREILLY IN RECALLED TUNA

MADISON—Testing performed by the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) laboratory has confirmed Salmonella Bareilly contamination in recalled yellowfin tuna and in a spicy tuna roll made with the recalled tuna. The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) at the University of Wisconsin – Madison found that the Salmonella isolated from these samples matched the DNA fingerprint of the outbreak Salmonella Bareilly strain isolated from ill individuals. These lab tests confirmed earlier evidence discovered through case interviews and product tracking that the yellowfin tuna was the source of the contamination. To date, the outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly infections has involved 160 ill individuals in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Both of the contaminated samples were collected and tested as part of a collaborative effort in which Wisconsin state and local officials assisted federal investigators. On April 13, 2012 the Moon Marine USA Corporation (also known as MMI) of Cupertino, California voluntarily recalled all frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, labeled as Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA. The product was not available for sale to individual consumers, but may have been used to make sushi, sashimi, ceviche and similar dishes available in restaurants and grocery stores. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is continuing to trace the recalled tuna forward from the recalling company through the subsequent distribution.

Since February, 15 Wisconsin residents have had laboratory-confirmed Salmonella Bareilly infections that match the DNA fingerprints of the national outbreak strain. Three of the 15 patients were hospitalized and all of the patients have recovered from their infection.

County Cases
Milwaukee 6
Washington 2
Waukesha 7

State and local health officials continue to monitor for additional cases and have supported the national investigation by interviewing patients regarding their food histories and other exposures and using this information to conduct a trace back of food consumed by ill individuals from the point of consumption through the distribution chain to its source.

State health officials advise consumers to contact their doctor if they believe they became ill from eating potentially contaminated food. Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, which typically lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 8 to 72 hours and some individuals may experience vomiting. Bloodstream infections are infrequent, but can be serious, particularly in the very young or elderly.

Since the organism is passed in the feces, and person-to-person spread of the bacteria is possible, people should follow proper hand washing methods. People should always carefully wash their hands with plenty of soap and water after bowel movements, and before and after food preparation. Parents should stress proper hand washing habits to their children. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol hand sanitizer.

For more information about salmonellosis, visit: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/Foodborne/Salmonella.htm.

For updates on the national outbreak, visit:

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Last Revised:  February 12, 2014