FDA recalls tuna testing positive for hepatitis A, affecting Orange County restaurants, hotels – OCRegister
Several Southern California restaurants and hotels have been affected by a frozen tuna recall involving steaks and cubes that tested positive for hepatitis A.
So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention know of no illnesses linked to the tuna, said FDA spokesman Peter Cassell. But the agencies are warning those who haven’t been vaccinated and may have consumed the fish to get immediate medical attention.
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can range in severity from mild to severe. The virus is transmitted through food, water and from an infected person to other unvaccinated family members and sexual partners.
Symptoms may not surface until 15 to 50 days after eating the contaminated food and could include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine, pale stools and abnormal liver tests.
The recall, which was issued May 18, includes frozen yellowfin tuna steaks from Sustainable Seafood Company and yellowfin tuna cubes from Santa Cruz Seafood.
Orange County establishments affected by the recall, according to the FDA, include Ola Mexican Kitchen in Huntington Beach and the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, and Hotel Irvine in Irvine. Other Southern California businesses that were affected include the Doubletree Hotel in Claremont, Galaxy Foods Inc. in Rancho Palos Verdes, Jus Poke in Redondo Beach and Almansor Court in Alhambra.
A representative for Hotel Irvine said Friday that it is not part of the recall. Spokeswoman Marguarite Clark, in an email, said the hotel receives its tuna supply from Santa Monica Seafood. The hotel is requesting its name be removed from the FDA list, she said.
Ola Mexican Kitchen discarded all of the recalled tuna and sent what was still packaged back to the distributor, said Travis Brummett, the restaurant’s general manager. Owner Toby Reece said the distributor flagged the restaurant in time. Ola never used the cubed frozen tuna for any dish. “We got lucky,” he said.
He said the company is switching to a different brand to source its tuna.
Cassell said the FDA and CDC are helping state and local officials to assess the risk of exposure to hepatitis A from the contaminated frozen tuna, imported from Vietnam and the Philippines.
The CDC is recommending post-exposure prophylaxis, a preventive medical treatment to prevent the infection from occurring, for unvaccinated people who may have eaten any of the recalled raw or undercooked tuna products in the last two weeks.
People who have eaten the fish fully cooked are at reduced risk of getting infected, but are still encouraged to consult with their doctors.
Information: fda.gov or 888-SAFEFOOD from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Staff writer Nancy Luna contributed to this report.