Over the last few weeks, reports of salmonella linked to eating sushi containing an imported product known as “tuna scrape” have trickled into the CDC. Now, what was initially thought to be a small-scale outbreak has cropped up in more 24 states, and sickened 258 people. Which is still a relatively minute portion of the population–but, cautions the CDC, that number will likely continue to grow as more reports are filed. Is your state among the ones where the sushi Salmonella outbreak has hit?
Over 58,000 lbs of the tuna product, which is often used in “spicy tuna”-style rolls, have been recalled by the manufacturer–though plenty of it may still be floating around in the food supply, which is a good reason to keep away from those tuna hand rolls for another few weeks. However, while some critics have tried to liken tuna scrape to the oh-so-widely-feared “pink slime,” the comparison isn’t really a fair one–tuna scrape may be unfit to stand alone (like a tuna steak), but it’s not processed with ammonia or sterilized the way the beef product is.
However, if you’re dining with kids, the elderly, or others who may have compromised or otherwise weakened immune systems, any and all raw food presents an inherent risk, and tuna is no exception. As Food Safety News point out, there have been several relatively small outbreaks in recent memory–but with raw food, that’s always a risk. Just ask anyone who’s been sickened by raw milk in within the last month.
As I’ve mentioned before, Salmonella and E. Coli outbreaks can be difficult to follow with precision, because many people who develop food poisoning symptoms don’t seek medical attention, and thus, don’t get reported as part of the outbreak. If you’re experiencing symptoms that may be Salmonella (and have recently consumed spicy tuna rolls), head in to your doctor just to be sure you’re counted among those in the outbreak–it only to help accurately report which states have been hit.
Image: the CDC