Header graphic for print
Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Tropic Fish, despite earlier FDA warning letter, shipped Tuna without knowing Hepatitis A test results

P1130305-640x480KHON news reported that The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has been notified of imported frozen raw tuna or ahi cubes distributed by Tropic Fish Hawaii, LLC on Oahu that tested positive for hepatitis A.

The product, imported from Indonesia, was used to prepare poke sold between April 27 and May 1 by food establishments on Oahu.

The Department of Health says Tropic Fish Hawaii discovered 200 tainted 15-pound cases of frozen ahi cubes; 140 of those cases were recovered and never got sold.

The imported frozen fish was used to prepare poke or food served or sold at:

  • Times Supermarket and Shima’s
    • Aiea
    • Kailua
    • Kaneohe
    • Kunia
    • Liliha
    • Mililani
    • Waipahu
    • Waimanalo
  • GP Hawaiian Food Catering
  • Crab Shack Kapolei (also known as Maile Sunset Bar & Grill in Kapolei)

Hawaii News Now also reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter last July to the Honolulu-based seafood processor that distributed ahi that may have been tainted with Hepatitis A to local stores and eateries.

warning letter sent to Tropic Fish Hawaii, LLC, scolded the company for “unsanitary conditions” and noted an FDA inspector had found ahi tuna on the company’s warehouse concrete floor. At the time of the inspection, an employee was also seen dragging ahi tuna across the floor onto a pallet.

Finally, according to the Pacific Business Journal:

“Times Supermarket and Tropic Fish notified the department as soon as they learned of the test results on the imported fish,” said Peter Oshiro, chief of the state Department of Health Food Safety Program. “All of the product is being traced, collected and held by the distributor. Fortunately, in this case, Tropic Fish Hawaii kept excellent records and has been contacting all retailers and pulling the product quickly.”

Tropic Fish Hawaii, a wholesale food distributor and subsidiary of CMU and Associates on the Big Island, voluntarily recalled the shipment of contaminated cubed tuna, and has notified all customers after it found out on Monday.

“Our normal procedure is to receive the test results prior to distribution, but unfortunately, that did not happen with this particular shipment,” said Shawn Tanoue, president of Tropic Fish Hawaii. “We have corrected our procedures to ensure this will not happen again. I want to personally apologize to our customers and the public.