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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Hawaii Unwittingly at the Center of Food Safety Issues

raw-scallopsIn its weekly update Wednesday, the Hawaii Department of Health reported no new confirmed cases from Nov. 3 through 9. It recorded one new case the previous week, bringing the total number of sick people to 292. About a fourth of the outbreak victims have had symptoms so severe that they required hospitalization. At least one death, a 68-year-old woman, is attributed to the outbreak that was traced to frozen scallops imported from the Philippines and served raw by the Genki Sushi fast food chain. Another outbreak victim died, but was terminally ill and in hospice care so health officials are not attributing that death to Hepatitis A. All but 18 of the victims have been residents of Oahu. Seven victims are visitors who have returned to the mainland or overseas. Eleven outbreak victims live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai or Maui. Only Genki Sushi locations on Oahu and Kauai served the implicated scallops.

seaweedMore than two dozen people in Hawaii have been infected by Salmonella bacteria in an outbreak that is tentatively linked to seaweed (limu or ogo) from an unnamed farm on Oahu. The 14 infected people include children and adults, with four victims have such severe symptoms that they required hospitalization, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. Although encouraging public awareness, the state health department did not release the name of the Oahu farm. The department ordered the farm “to halt operations and advise its customers to remove product from sale immediately.” All of the infected people developed diarrheal illnesses from mid- to late October. Preliminary investigations identified consumption of raw fish, specifically poke that contained limu, as a common factor among the sick people.