Jensen Tuna Salmonella Outbreak


As of May 20, 2019, 15 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport were reported from eight states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each is on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from January 8, 2019 to March 31, 2019. Ill people ranged in age from 24 to 85 years, with a median age of 40. Fifty-three percent were female.  Of 11 people with available information, 2 (18%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

WGS analysis did not identify antibiotic resistance in 11 bacterial isolates from ill people. Testing of three outbreak isolates using standard antibiotic susceptibility testing methods by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory confirmed these results.

Investigation of the Outbreak

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicated that frozen, raw ground tuna supplied by Jensen Tuna Inc. in Houma, La., was the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Nine (75%) of 12 people interviewed reported eating sushi from a restaurant or grocery store. This proportion was significantly higher than results from a survey pdf icon[PDF – 787 KB] of healthy people in which 5% reported eating sushi, sashimi, or ceviche made with raw fish or shellfish in the week before they were interviewed. Of the nine people with information about their sushi exposure, all nine (100%) reported eating a sushi item containing raw tuna or raw “spicy tuna.”

The FDA and regulatory officials in several states traced the source of the raw tuna used by restaurants where ill people ate sushi. The traceback evidence indicated that the restaurants used frozen ground tuna supplied by Jensen Tuna.

On April 15, 2019, Jensen Tuna voluntarily recalledexternal icon frozen ground tuna products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport.

As of May 22, 2019, this outbreak appears to be over.

Symptoms of salmonella include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever of 100-102 F
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Body aches

Symptoms typically appear 6-72 hours after eating contaminated food and last for 3-7 days without treatment. If you or a family member experienced symptoms, contact your local health department.

Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $650 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

Additional Resources