Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Possible food poisoning from contaminated yellowfin tuna recall

In a nutshell: Over 5,000 pounds of frozen yellowfin tuna recalled because of possible food poisoning in Hawaii. 

February 9, 2008–Choyce Products of Honolulu is voluntarily recalling 5,452 pounds of frozen Yellowfin Tuna because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella (food poisoning).

Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If this is what healthy people may experience, one can see how food poisoning could be fatal in people with weakened immune systems or the elderly and children.

This is  SERIOUS: In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illness such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis. (Arthritis?)

The frozen Yellowfin tuna was distributed on Oahu and most likely reached consumers in the form of a mixed, previously frozen, seafood product through its customers. Choyce Products received the tuna from a mainland importer who confirmed the tuna was sent from Indonesia. You have to wonder how the fish is kept frozen at the appropriate temperature during flight or sea voyage.

Choyce Products’ customers received the cubed tuna in frozen form. The frozen product is packaged in labeled white cardboard shipping boxes containing 22 pounds of product. These boxes each contain 11 2-pound packages of vacuum-packed product in unlabeled plastic bags. White stickers on the cardboard shipping boxes have the following code information:

Lot Number 0727408005899 with Production Dates October 1 and 2, 2007
Lot Number 0725008005899 with Production Date September 7, 2007
Lot Number 0726408005899 with Production Date September 21, 2007
Choyce Products unknowingly sold the tuna to its customers before learning of the possible contamination. The FDA and the state of Hawaii are conducting a joint investigation of a variety of vendors due to the state receiving Salmonella illness reports between October 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007. The source has not yet been identified. Choyce Products will destroy all returned and inventoried recalled product.

Consumers can call 808-839-1502 if they have concerns or questions about tuna-containing products they have consumed. Those Choyce Products customer who suspect they may have this product should keep it in their possession and call 808-839-1502 with the label information. Should the tuna be from the parcel in question, it will be retrieved and destroyed by Choyce Products and a refund will be issued.


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