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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Is 19 State Salmonella Bareilly Outbreak linked to Spicy Tuna Roll Sushi

There is an ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly.  The confirmed case count has grown to 90 as of April 2, 2012.  Reported case counts include 19 States and the District of Columbia.  All state names have not yet been released by FDA or CDC.  Seven hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported. The majority of the cases are clustered on the eastern seaboard and the Gulf coast, but include cases as far west as Missouri and Texas. The CDC has characterized this outbreak as ongoing and rapidly expanding in the number of cases, particularly due to the prolonged reporting lag time (up to 32 days).

Spicy-Tuna-Roll.jpgThe FDA has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in investigating this outbreak. According to CDC, although this investigation is ongoing and work is continuing to eliminate other possible vehicles, CDC postulates that sushi is the likely source of this outbreak, with spicy tuna roll sushi highly suspect. FDA continues to evaluate data collected by States and FDA district offices, focusing on 6 restaurant clusters in Texas, Wisconsin, Maryland and Connecticut identified to date.

FDA traceback efforts continue to analyze information coming in from the States and the District Offices on menu items consumed, ingredients, brands, preparation, and suppliers, particularly cases associated with restaurant clusters, in an effort to identify the specific suspect vehicle.

I am not a big Sushi fan.

  • Mara

    My husband has had salmonella since Sunday. His symptoms include massive diarrhea, high fever, chills, nausea, blood in stools, and muscle aches. He got his spicy tuna roll from Sakura.

  • Gerae

    Experiencing symptoms after spicy tuna rolls at Tsuruya Sushi in San Diego last night.

  • Tamara

    Oh I feel so bad for both of you who posted !! :-(
    90 people and 19 states already ? This is not looking good at all.

  • Buck Turgidson

    OK… I’ve been puzzling over this for a while now. How in hell would there be a contamination across “spicy tuna rolls” between different states? Is there some frozen institutional “spicy tuna” sushi that supplies restaurants in 19 states? Even supermarket sushi is prepared from separate ingredients–for spicy tuna this is basically raw tuna (which is obviously used for other tuna sushi), Japanese mayonaise (Kewpie being the most common) and rayu, which is spicy sesame oil. rice and nori are shared with other sushi, so, obviously, they cannot be the culprit. Since CDC is focusing on “spicy tuna”, the tuna itself cannot be the culprit, so it has to be either the mayo or the oil or the already pre-mixed spicy mayo. But these ingredients are common to all spicy rolls. So that would also make no sense. So my first question remains–is there a company that sells prefabricated spicy tuna rolls to restaurants that do not make their own sushi but have it on the menu? Given that restaurants generally have their own supply chains, especially for fresh or frozen fish, any other scenario seems absolutely improbable. CDC has been wrong before–remember the scallion scare that then was thought to be bean sprouts but turned out to be linked to tomatoes? This whole thing seems highly suspicious.

  • http://www.marlerclark.com/wmarler.htm Bill Marler

    “the scallion scare that then was thought to be bean sprouts but turned out to be linked to tomatoes.”
    Help me here, which outbreak was this one?

  • Jami Broom

    I was one of the 2 people in North Carolina sickened, and I assure you I did not eat any sushi that week, nor have I eaten sushi in months.
    Is it possible there is a simultaneous multiple outbreak is happening? Or that I caught this from someone who did eat sushi, or also serves sushi at their restaurant and didn’t take proper measures to wash their hands/food?