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Sushi Salmonella Outbreak Total Rises to 160 Confirmed Cases

Food Safety News

By Mary Rothschild | APR 21, 2012

Nineteen more cases of Salmonella Bareilly infection have been confirmed in the multistate outbreak linked to sushi tuna. At least 160 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia have been sickened, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Friday.

However, this outbreak is probably much larger, and many more illnesses likely occurred than those confirmed through lab analysis of stool specimens. For every case of salmonellosis reported, the CDC estimates 38.6 go unreported. That would translate to about 6,176 people ill from eating tainted tuna.

The implicated frozen raw yellowfin tuna product - known as "tuna scrape" because it is back meat scraped from tuna bones - was imported from India and has been recalled by the California-based distributor, Moon Marine USA. The Nakaochi Scrape resembles ground tuna and is used to make sashimi, ceviche and sushi, particularly "spicy tuna" sushi.

According to the CDC's latest update, the 19 new outbreak cases include 14 reported by Massachusetts, two reported by New York and one each reported by Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia.

New York, with 30 ill people, has the largest number of confirmed cases, followed by Massachusetts with 23; Illinois, Maryland and Wisconsin with 14; Virginia with 9; New Jersey with 8; Connecticut, Georgia and Pennsylvania with 6; Rhode Island with 5; Missouri and Texas with 4; Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina with 3; Alabama, the District of Columbia and Mississippi with two; and Arkansas and Florida with single cases.

The ill people range in age from 4 to 78 years; median age is 30. Sixty-six percent are female. At least 26 have been hospitalized.

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