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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Hepatitis A in the US – Hawaii and Virginia hit hardest

MultiColored-United-States-MapHawaii – Since the last update on August 31, 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health has identified 11 new cases of hepatitis A.  All cases have been in adults, 66 have required hospitalization.

Findings of the investigation suggest that the source of the outbreak is focused on Oahu. Eleven individuals are residents of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, or Maui, and four visitors have returned to the mainland.

CONFIRMED CASES OF HEPATITIS A – 252 – with onset of illness has ranged between 6/12/16 – 8/30/16.

On August 15, 2016, HDOH identified raw scallops served at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai as a likely source of the ongoing outbreak. The product of concern is Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen) that originated in the Philippines (states “Product of the Philippines” on the box), distributed by Koha Oriental Foods and True World Foods. As a result, HDOH ordered this product embargoed (not to be sold, purchased, or consumed) throughout the state, and the temporary closure of all Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. The scallops received by True World Foods have not been distributed to any restaurants in the state, and were embargoed at their warehouse.

Virginia – On the otherside of the United States, several states, CDC, and the FDA are investigating a multistate outbreak of foodborne hepatitis A linked to Tropical Smoothie Café.

88 people with hepatitis A have been reported from seven states: Maryland (6), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (73), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1).

32 ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate frozen strawberries imported from Egypt are the likely source of this outbreak.