The FDA and CDC are currently conducting an investigation regarding frozen tuna products that were found to be positive for Hepatitis A virus. As such, they are advising unvaccinated consumers of the recalled products to undergo a post-exposure prophylaxis.
Recall Follow-Up And Investigation
Following an early May recall of Hepatitis A positive frozen tuna products that were distributed in various establishments in Oahu, Hawaii, a recall of Hepatitis A positive frozen tuna products was also conducted in various establishments in Texas, California, New York, and Oklahoma on May 18. Though the shipped products to New York were not sold the public, establishments in Texas, California, and Oklahoma had already sold some of the products.
Both product recalls were a result of the distributor’s notification of the FDA regarding the positive test results of the products for Hepatitis A.
The products affected by the recent recall are imported frozen tuna products from the Sustainable Seafood Company in Vietnam, and the Santa Cruz Seafood Inc. from the Philippines.
Because of these cases, the FDA and CDC are now working together to investigate and assess the possible risks of the Hepatitis A contamination. The FDA has already collected more samples of the product for further testing and increased their screening measures and testing for imported seafood for the involved companies.
More at risk are individuals who consumed the products undercooked in the last two weeks.
Pointers For Retailers And Consumers
Restaurants and retailers should make sure that the products will not be served or sold to their customers and also inform customers about the possible exposure.
If an establishment is found to have handled the recalled products, they are strongly advised to wash and sanitize their display cases, refrigerators, and anywhere the product was stored; wash and sanitize the surface upon which the products was prepared; and to wash their hands with hot water and soap thoroughly after the cleanup process.
Establishments should also be wary of the possibility of cross-contamination between cutting surfaces, utensils, and other possible materials that have come in contact with the contaminated product.
Because Hepatitis A can have serious health consequences, the FDA advises members of the public who may have consumed the product and are unvaccinated for Hepatitis A to undergo post-exposure prophylaxis.
Further, Hepatitis A can be passed from person to person, so practicing safe food handling is necessary to prevent contamination. A thorough handwashing after using the restroom as well as after changing a diaper is also advised.
No illnesses have been reported due to the contamination to date.