Published on Apr 06, 2012 by Edgar Snyder

Salmonella Outbreak That Could Be Linked to Sushi Hits 19 States

sushi salmonella outbreak

UPDATE: 5/18/2012

The recent Salmonella outbreak involving a contaminated raw yellowfin tuna product has now affected 316 people across 26 states and Washington, D.C., according to government health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also reported that the outbreak is linked to two separate strains of Salmonella bacteria – Salmonella Bareilly and Salmonella Nchanga. So far, officials believe 304 people have been infected by the Bareilly strain, and another 12 have been infected with Ncahnga.

At least two people have already filed lawsuits against Moon Marine, the manufacturer of the tainted tuna product, after becoming ill from contaminated seafood.

UPDATE: 4/16/2012

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the product likely responsible for a recent multi-state Salmonella outbreak. Experts believe the culprit is a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product that is scraped from the bones of tuna and often used for dishes such as sushi, sashimi, and ceviche.

The manufacturer, Moon Marine USA Corporation, is voluntarily recalling almost 60,000 pounds of the product. However, the Food and Drug Administration warns that while the company name, MMI, and the products' name, Nakoachi Scrape AA or AAA, is printed on the affected boxes, these boxes may have been split up into smaller units for further distribution, making it difficult to identify the contaminated product.

Public health officials are still investigating grocery stores and restaurants they believe received the contaminated yellowfin tuna. To date, this outbreak has affected 116 people across 20 states and the District of Columbia.


The Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is currently investigating the source of a Salmonella outbreak thought to be linked to sushi. The outbreak has sickened people in 19 states, including Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.

So far, the CDC reports that 90 people have been affected by a rare strain of the bacteria known as Salmonella Bareilly. The first instance of this particular foodborne illness outbreak was reported in late January, while the most recent case was reported on April 2.

Officials say it is too early to speculate on the cause of the outbreak. However, those close to the investigation say it may be linked to sushi, primarily spicy tuna rolls, which they have deemed "high suspect."

Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning usually occur within 12 to 72 hours of eating contaminated food and can be expected to last four to seven days. These symptoms include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting

In addition to Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., illnesses have also been reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

"Officials seek source of Salmonella outbreak." CNN. April 4, 2012.
"Report: Yellowfin tuna tied to Salmonella outbreak." CNN. April 14, 2012.
"200 now sick in salmonella sushi outbreak." MSNBC. April 26. 2012
"Salmonella-linked sushi toll climbs to 316 in 26 states." MSNBC. May 17, 2012.
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