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Frozen, scraped, raw yellowfin tuna backmeat, known as Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA has been fingered as the source of an outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly illnesses that sickened at least 116 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Here is what FDA reported late this afternoon:

Moon Marine USA Corporation (also known as MMI) of Cupertino, Calif. is voluntarily recalling 58,828 lbs of a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, labeled as Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA. Nakaochi Scrape is tuna backmeat, which is specifically scraped off from the bones, and looks like a ground product.

The Nakaochi Scrape is associated with an outbreak of 116 cases of Salmonella Bareilly in multiple 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).

The raw yellowfin tuna product may have passed through several distributors before reaching the restaurant and grocery market, and may not be marked with lot information. Distributors and end users should consult their suppliers to determine the origin of any Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA in their possession.

The recalled product was not distributed for retail sale to consumers, but may have been used to make sushi, sashimi, ceviche and similar dishes available in restaurants and grocery stores. While the company name and “Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA were printed on boxes of product supplied to distributors, the tuna may not be readily identifiable by consumers as being from implicated lots.

News of the Salmonella Bareilly outbreak first broke on April 3rd. As of the CDC’s last update (April 13th), twelve people are known to have been hospitalized out of the 116 confirmed case patients. Reported onset dates for illnesses range from January 28th to March 31st. The youngest outbreak victim is 4 years of age; the oldest is 78 years old. Half of the confirmed case patients are female.

FDA has this advice for consumers:

  • Because raw seafood is not fully cooked to assure that pathogens are destroyed, it is not considered as “safe” as cooked seafood. The handling of raw seafood can also affect the safety of the product. Because the tuna may have been broken into unmarked sublots and may not be readily identifiable, consumers should take precautions in choosing to eat raw Nakaochi Scrape and be sure that it is not from the implicated lots.
  • If you purchase “spicy tuna” or other sushi, sashimi, ceviche, or similar dishes that might contain Nakaochi Scrape from a restaurant or grocery store, check with the establishment to make sure that it does not contain raw recalled product from Moon Marine USA Corporation, also known as MMI. When in doubt, don’t eat it.
  • Consumers who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated raw Nakaochi Scrape should consult their health care providers.
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