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Report: Yellowfin tuna tied to Salmonella outbreak

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Sat April 14, 2012
Workers unload a fresh catch of yellowfin tuna at a fish processing plant.
Workers unload a fresh catch of yellowfin tuna at a fish processing plant.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A frozen raw yellowfin tuna product is likely responsible for an outbreak of salmonella, CDC says
  • People in 20 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, have been infected, a report says
  • A total of 116 people have been infected with salmonella Bareilly since the outbreak occurred
  • 12 people have hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported.

(CNN) -- A frozen raw yellowfin tuna product from a California-based company likely is responsible for an outbreak of salmonella across 20 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia, the CDC says.

A total of 116 people have been infected with salmonella Bareilly since the outbreak occurred, including 12 who were hospitalized as a result of the bacteria, according to a Friday report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

No deaths have been reported.

The product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, is backmeat scraped from the bones of tuna, often included in dishes such as sushi, sashimi and ceviche.

It looks like raw ground tuna.

Of 53 infected people who were interviewed, 43 they had recently eaten sushi. Of those sushi eaters, 84% reported eating spicy tuna, the CDC said.

The company, the Moon Marine USA Corporation headquartered in Cupertino, California, is voluntarily recalling 58,828 lbs of the product, which is not available to individual consumers, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report also released Friday.

The FDA warned that while the company name, MMI, and Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA have been printed on boxes of the product, those boxes may have been broken down into smaller containers for further distribution and "may not be readily identifiable by retail outlets or by consumers as being from the implicated lots."

Public health officials are currently investigating restaurants and grocery stores believed to have received the contaminated product.

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