FDA warns about eating Kroger yellowfin tuna after illnesses

Published on
September 9, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat raw yellowfin tuna steaks from several Kroger stores after some consumers became ill with scombroid poisoning. 

On 4 September, the FDA became aware of multiple scombroid poisoning cases in individuals who consumed tuna steaks purchased from three separate Kroger retail locations in Ohio, the agency said in a press release.

On 5 September, Kroger agreed to remove all yellowfin tuna steaks from their stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

Kroger also began notifying consumers who had purchased the yellowfin tuna steaks to dispose of or return the product to the store. The FDA is working with the distributor to remove any additional product from the market.

The warning applies to yellowfin tuna steaks from the seafood counter or seasoned yellowfin tuna steaks in store-prepped styrofoam trays from Kroger retail stores in the specific states listed with sell by dates from 29 August, 2019 and 4 September, 2019.

“Consumers of these products who are experiencing symptoms of scombroid poisoning should contact their healthcare provider. Consumers of these products who have recently experienced symptoms of scombroid poisoning should report their symptoms to their local Health Department,” FDA said.

Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating fish that has not been properly refrigerated or preserved and therefore contains high levels of histamine, FDA said. 

“Scombroid poisoning is most commonly caused by fish that have naturally high levels of the amino acid histidine, which bacteria convert to histamine when the fish is not correctly stored,” the agency said.

Scombroid poisoning symptoms typically resemble an allergic reaction, such as flushing of the face, headache, heart palpitations, itching, blurred vision, cramps, and diarrhea. However, the illness can be treated with antihistamines. 

Even without treatment, people usually get better within 12 hours, FDA said.

Photo courtesy of Kroger  

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