On May 2, wholesale distributor Tropic Fish Hawaii — a subsidiary of CMU and associates — announced the voluntary recall of a batch of frozen ahi cubed tuna products. These products were sold in the island of Oahu between April 27 and May 1 and were tainted with the Hepatitis A virus.
The voluntary recall from Tropic Fish Hawaii impacts roughly 2,300 pounds of the contaminated product. Out of this, nearly 1,440 pounds were recovered or disposed of.
What The Distributor Says
The frozen ahi cubed tuna product in question was imported from Indonesia before the results of the various safety tests conducted on them were received. According to Tropic Fish Hawaii, this was against the normal procedures it follows.
“Our normal procedure is to receive the test results prior to distribution, but unfortunately that did not happen with this particular shipment …We have corrected our procedures to ensure this will not happen again,” Shawn Tanoue, the company’s president remarked after the Hepatitis A contamination was revealed.
In 2016, a similar Hepatitis A contamination was found in the scallops the distributor sells. This infected nearly 300 people with the virus. The local media of Oahu reported that since then, the company treads cautiously and tests all its products prior to releasing them to the market for consumption.
The tainted ahi cubed tuna product, used widely for preparing the Hawaiian delicacy poke, was sold in many stores across the island. Some of the popular retailers that stocked and sold the product between April 27 and May 1 include the Times Supermarkets chain, Shima’s Market, Aloha Sushi Nimitz, G.P. Hawaiian Food Catering, and more. Restaurants and food outlets may also have purchased the tainted ahi cubed tuna.
Hawaii’s Department Of Health Gets Involved
As soon as the test results were received, the distributor contacted Hawaii’s department of health to report the possible contamination of Hepatitis A. The health department tested 200 of the frozen ahi cubed tuna product cases and discovered that they were potentially contaminated. The health officials also commended Tropic Fish Hawaii for its swift action and recall of the product.
It strongly urged local residents and tourists who consumed poke within the last week to stay vigilant and get necessary vaccinations, if they have not done so already.
“Because it generally takes two weeks for those infected to develop symptoms of hepatitis A, vaccination or immune globulin can still provide some protection against the disease for those who may have been exposed in the last week,” Dr. Sarah Park of the health department stated.
The health department advises that people experiencing symptoms of Hepatitis A like fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, fatigue, or diarrhea should remain home and consult their physician immediately.