Category Archives: scombroid poisoning

Sweden – Histamine poisoning in Sweden linked to tuna from Vietnam

Food Safety News

Thirty people in Sweden fell ill with scombroid poisoning after eating tuna from Vietnam earlier this month.

The histamine poisoning foodborne outbreak was linked to frozen tuna loins from Vietnam, via the Netherlands.

Local authorities were responsible for the outbreak investigation and tracing of food batches. The Swedish Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) is the national contact point for Europe’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).

Mats Lindblad, from the Swedish Food Agency, said about 30 people were sick but no deaths were reported.

“Symptoms were typical for histamine poisoning and included swelling, hives, irregular heartbeat, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting,” he told Food Safety News.

RASFF Alert – Foodborne Outbreak – Histamine – Tuna Loins

RASFF-Logo

RASFF – foodborne outbreak (histamine poisoning) caused by frozen tuna loins from Vietnam, via the Netherlands in Sweden

Canada-Updated Food Recall Warning – Certain O/W Ahi Tuna products recalled due to histamine

Canada Gov

Recall details

Ottawa, March 6, 2020 – The food recall warning issued on February 28, 2020 has been updated to include additional distribution and product information. This additional information was identified during the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) food safety investigation.

Save-On-Foods is recalling certain O/W Ahi Tuna products from the marketplace due to elevated levels of histamine. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

Recalled products

Brand Product Size UPC Codes Additional Information
Pricesmart O/W Ahi Tuna Variable Starts with 226248 All units sold from September 18, 2019 to November 6, 2019, inclusive Sold at Pricesmart stores in British Columbia
Save on Foods O/W Ahi Tuna Variable Starts with 226248 All units sold from November 7, 2019 to February 28, 2020, inclusive Sold at Pricesmart stores in British Columbia
Urban Fare O/W Ahi Tuna Variable Starts with 226248 All units sold from September 18, 2019 to February 28, 2020, inclusive Sold at Urban Fare stores in Alberta and British Columbia

What you should do

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Check to see if you have the recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Food contaminated with high levels of histamine may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. Histamines are not destroyed by cooking. High levels of histamine in fish can cause an allergic-type reaction known as scombroid poisoning. Symptoms can include burning throat, diarrhea, dizziness, facial swelling, headache, vomiting and peppery taste in mouth.

Background

This recall was triggered by consumer complaints. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled products from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There have been no reported reactions associated with the consumption of these products. However, there were reported reactions associated with the products included in the Food Recall Warning on February 25, 2020.

Product photos

Printer ready version of photos

  • Pricesmart: O/W Ahi Tuna - Variable
  • Save on Foods: O/W Ahi Tuna - Variable
  • Urban Fare: O/W Ahi Tuna - Variable

RASFF Alert – Food Poisoning Suspected (scombroid syndrome) – Frozen Red Tuna Loins (Thunnus albacares)

RASFF-Logo

RASFF – food poisoning suspected (scombroid syndrome) to be caused by frozen red tuna loins (Thunnus albacares) from Vietnam, via the Netherlands in Italy

USA – Outbreak Investigation of Scombrotoxin Fish Poisoning: Yellowfin/Ahi Tuna (November 2019)

Outbreak appears to be over; yellowfin tuna imported from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with production dates in 2019 should still be discarded, if found.

FDA

January 24, 2020

Recommendations

Yellowfin tuna from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019 should not be consumed because it may have the potential to cause scombrotoxin fish poisoning. Tuna from this supplier could have been sold thawed or frozen; and could have been sold as ground tuna meat, poke cubes, steaks, or loins; this product could still be within its shelf life.­­ Anyone who received tuna from this supplier should not sell, serve, or consume it and should discard it. If you purchased tuna from one of the importers listed below you should confirm that it was not tuna supplied by Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019. The following companies imported tuna from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD:

  • Mical Seafood Inc. (Davie, FL)
  • Northern Fisheries LTD (Little Compton, RI)
  • Alfa International Seafood Inc. (Medley, FL)
  • Aquabest Seafood LLC (Miami, FL)
  • Gamma Seafood Corporation (Medley, FL)
  • J. DeLuca Fish Company, Inc. (San Pedro, CA)
  • Sym-Pac International Inc. (Corona, CA)
  • Worldwide Seafood Products LLC (Perth Amboy, NJ)

Scombrotoxin fish poisoning occurs when fish is not properly chilled or preserved and begins to spoil, resulting in increased histamine levels. Histamine cannot be destroyed by freezing or cooking.

Importers, Suppliers, and Distributors:

Importers, suppliers, and distributors should not use and should discard or destroy any yellowfin tuna imported from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019.

Restaurants and Retailers:

Restaurants and retailers should contact their suppliers to confirm the source of their yellowfin tuna because not all product was distributed in packaging that identifies Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD. Yellowfin tuna imported from this company with a production date in 2019 should not be used, served, repacked, or sold; and should be discarded.

Consumers:

While restaurants and retailers should have removed yellowfin tuna with a production date in 2019 from the Vietnamese supplier Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD, consumers should ask if the yellowfin tuna being served or sold was imported from the Vietnamese supplier Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD and has a production date in 2019.

Update January 24, 2020

This outbreak appears to be over. The last reported illness for this outbreak was on November 24, 2019. Yellowfin tuna from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019 should still not be consumed. At this time, Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD has not shipped product in 2020 and remains on Import Alert, which provides information to FDA field staff that they may detain the firm’s yellowfin tuna without physical examination. Detained product will not enter the United States unless the importer proves that it meets U.S. food safety standards.

When the firm initially declined to recall, the FDA issued public warnings for importers, suppliers, distributors, and consumers. After the FDA public warning, the company recalled some of the product. FDA evaluated the effectiveness of the recalls and determined that the recalls may have not effectively removed all potentially harmful products from the market, so on December 26, 2019, the FDA released a list of importers of Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD tuna to help suppliers and distributors to identify product. FDA further worked with companies throughout the supply chain to facilitate recalls; and was able to ensure that all importers with tuna still available initiated recalls.

In addition, the FDA notified the Vietnamese government after learning that some tuna products had been returned to Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD in Vietnam. In response, the Vietnamese government issued an official letter to all relevant Vietnamese agencies instructing them to monitor and detain shipments of Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD tuna upon arrival at ports in Vietnam. This action was taken to prevent the use of this product in Vietnam and its re-export to other countries, including the U.S.

USA – Investigation of Scombrotoxin Fish Poisoning Linked to Yellowfin/Ahi Tuna, Fall 2019

FDA

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 50
Hospitalizations: 1
Deaths: 0
Last illness onset: November 24, 2019
States with Cases: DE (6), MA (2), MD (4), MN (2), NJ (2), NY (6), OH (11), PA (6), RI (3), VT (7), WV (1)

December 26, 2019

FDA has determined that recalls of yellowfin tuna supplied by Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD have not effectively removed  potentially harmful products from the market. FDA recommends that importers, suppliers, distributors, restaurants, and retailers who purchased tuna from one of the importers listed should confirm that it was not tuna supplied by Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019.  If it was it should be destroyed or discarded. These firms are being named to effectuate the removal of product from the market due to the reporting of additional illnesses linked to product from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD. The following companies imported tuna from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD:

  • Mical Seafood Inc. (Davie, FL)
  • Northern Fisheries LTD. (Little Compton, RI)
  • Alfa International Seafood Inc. (Medley, FL)
  • Aquabest Seafood LLC (Miami, FL)
  • Gamma Seafood Corporation (Medley, FL)
  • J. DeLuca Fish Company, Inc. (San Pedro, CA)
  •  Sym-Pac International Inc. (Corona, CA)
  • Worldwide Seafood Products LLC (Perth Amboy, NJ)

Recommendations

Yellowfin tuna from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019 should not be consumed because it may have the potential to cause scombrotoxin fish poisoning. Tuna from this supplier could have been sold thawed or frozen; and could have been sold as ground tuna meat, poke cubes, steaks, or loins; this product could still be within its shelf life.­­ Anyone who received tuna from this supplier should not sell, serve, or consume it and should discard it. If you purchased tuna from one of the importers listed above you should confirm that it was not tuna supplied by Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019.

Scombrotoxin fish poisoning occurs when fish is not properly chilled or preserved and begins to spoil, resulting in increased histamine levels. Histamine cannot be destroyed by freezing or cooking.

Importers, Suppliers, and Distributors:

Importers, suppliers, and distributors should not use and should discard or destroy any yellowfin tuna imported from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019.

Restaurants and Retailers:

Restaurants and retailers should contact their suppliers to confirm the source of their yellowfin tuna because not all product was distributed in packaging that identifies Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD. Yellowfin tuna imported from this company with a production date in 2019 should not be used, served, repacked, or sold; and should be discarded.

Consumers:

While restaurants and retailers should have removed yellowfin tuna with a production date in 2019 from the Vietnamese supplier Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD, consumers should ask if the yellowfin tuna being served or sold was imported from the Vietnamese supplier Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD and has a production date in 2019.

USA-Northern Fisheries LTD. Voluntary Expanded Tuna Recall Press Release

FDA

Northern Fisheries LTD of Little Compton, RI, has expanded their voluntary recall of frozen, wild-caught yellowfin Tuna Medallions (product of Vietnam) to include product sold directly to consumers. This recall is due to potentially elevated levels of histamine. Elevated levels of histamines can produce an allergic reaction called scombroid fish poisoning that may result in symptoms that can generally appear within minutes to several hours after eating the affected fish.

The most common symptoms of histamine or scombroid fish poisoning are tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, facial swelling, rash, hives and itchy skin, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea; these symptoms usually resolve within several hours without medical intervention. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. If symptoms are severe an individual should seek immediate medical attention for treatment.

These tuna products were sold to customers in: CT, MI, MN, RI and WI.

ALL LOTS WITH PRODUCTION DATE: 06/13/2019 UPC Code: 815838020638

Production date and UPC Code can be found on back of the Tuna King Brand rider card.

BRAND DESCRIPTION PRODUCTION DATE: NORTHERN
LOT #
UPC CODE
Tuna King Tuna Medallions 2-3oz 10x1lb 06/13/2019 0058797 815838020638

Customers who received products with the listed Production Date of: 06/13/2019 should not consume them and should discard them immediately.

Customers with questions or concerns may contact Northern Fisheries LTD by calling (401) 592-0600, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time or email.

northfish@northfishltd.com

USA – Is Truong Phu Xanh Yellowfin Tuna Linked to Scombrotoxin Outbreak?

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The FDA has released a notice about their investigation of Scombrotoxin fish poisoning that is linked to yellowfin tuna. As a result of this investigation, the government has placed Truong Phu Xanh Company of Vietnam on Import Alert, so the FDA field staff can detain the product without physical examination. This fish cannot enter the US unless the importer proves it meets U.S. food safety standards.

FDA

USA -Scombroid Poisoning Associated with All Water Seafood in Seattle, WA

Food Poisoning Bulletin

An outbreak of scombroid poisoning is associated with All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar, located in the Loews Hotel 1000, at 1001 1st Avenue in Seattle, Washington. Three people are sick in this outbreak. They ate tuna at that restaurant on November 4, 2019; all patients are from one party. No one has been hospitalized.

Research – Effect of Vacuum Packaging on Histamine Production in Japanese Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus niphonius) Stored at Various Temperatures

Journal of Food Protection

ABSTRACT

The effect of polyethylene packaging (PEP) in air cushion and vacuum packaging (VP) on histamine related to the quality of Japanese Spanish mackerel (JS mackerel) was studied with samples stored at −20, 4, 15, and 25°C. The aerobic plate count (APC), total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN), and histamine concentrations of the PEP and VP samples stored at 25°C increased as the storage time continued. The PEP and VP samples stored at temperatures below 15°C showed lower levels of APC, TVBN, and histamine, with VP samples having considerably lower levels of APC, TVBN, and histamine than PEP samples. For the frozen JS mackerel stored at −20°C for 2 months and then thawed and stored at 25°C, the VP treatment delayed the increases of TVBN and histamine longer than did the PEP treatment. Thus, the storage of VP JS mackerel at temperatures below 4°C could prevent quality deterioration and extend shelf life.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lower APC, TVBN, and histamine were found in VP samples than PEP samples.

  • VP delayed TVBN, and histamine increased at 25°C in thawed JS mackerel.

  • VP JS mackerel below 4°C prevented quality deterioration and extended shelf life.