Recall roundup: beef products, yellowfin tuna and fruit cake
Food and beverage products are recalled due to reasons ranging from contamination to incorrect labelling, and here is New Food’s roundup of the most recent cases.
Central Valley Meat Co., Inc. recalls ground beef products
Central Valley Meat Co., Inc., a Hanford, California establishment, is recalling approximately 34,222 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Dublin, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced.
The ground beef items were produced on 23 July 2019. The FSIS was notified of an investigation of Salmonella Dublin illnesses on 9 September 2019 and by working in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health partners, the FSIS determined that there is a link between ground beef products from Central Valley Meat Co., Inc., and this illness cluster.
The traceback investigation indicated that a case-patient consumed ground beef produced by Central Valley Meat Co., Inc. Based on epidemiological investigation, 10 case-patients have been identified in 6 states with illness onset dates ranging from 8 August 2019 to 22 September 2019.
This outbreak strain of Salmonella Dublin did not identify any antibiotic resistance. The FSIS continues to work with the CDC and state and local public health partners on this investigation and will provide updated information as it becomes available.
Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12-72 hours after eating the contaminated product. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.
The FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers’ freezers. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.
Scombrotoxin fish poisoning linked to yellowfin/ahi tuna
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state health authorities are investigating incidents of scombrotoxin fish poisoning linked to yellowfin tuna, also sometimes called ahi tuna. As a result of this investigation, the FDA has placed Truong Phu Xanh Co, LTD of Vietnam on Import Alert, which provides information to FDA field staff that they may detain the firm’s yellowfin tuna without physical examination. Detained product will not enter the US unless the importer proves that it meets US food safety standards.
The FDA asked for the supplier of yellowfin tuna associated with most of the illnesses, Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD of Vietnam, to initiate a voluntary recall of all of its imported yellowfin tuna with production dates from January 2019 to the present. At this time, the firm has not recalled any product.
As part of the investigation, the FDA evaluated the firm’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans – a firm’s management system to address food safety through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards.
The investigation has identified 47 illnesses of scombrotoxin fish poisoning that occurred between 8 August 2019 and 15 October 2019.
Throughout the investigation, the FDA and states have also been collecting product samples for testing. Scombrotoxin fish poisoning occurs when fish begin to spoil, resulting in increased histamine levels. Therefore, product samples cannot be linked to case patient samples through Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) or Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis like for other foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella or Listeria.
Instead, samples are tested for decomposition and/or histamine levels. Multiple samples have been collected and analysed, with positive results for decomposition or high histamine levels in products imported from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD.
The FDA and state partners collected epidemiologic and traceback information for reported illnesses. As additional epidemiologic and traceback information was collected, the FDA and state partners were able to work with companies throughout the supply chain to voluntarily recall implicated product. While recalls were conducted at various points in the supply chain, there may be additional product still on the market that could cause illness.
Yellowfin tuna from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019 should not be consumed because it may have the potential to cause scombrotoxin fish poisoning. Tuna from this supplier could have been sold thawed or frozen; and could have been sold as ground tuna meat, poke cubes, steaks, or loins; this product could still be within its shelf life.
Scombrotoxin fish poisoning occurs when fish is not properly chilled or preserved and begins to spoil, resulting in increased histamine levels. Histamine cannot be destroyed by freezing or cooking.
Importers, suppliers, and distributors
Importers, suppliers, and distributors should not use and should discard or destroy any yellowfin tuna imported from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD with a production date in 2019.
Restaurants and retailers
Restaurants and retailers should contact their suppliers to confirm the source of their yellowfin tuna because not all product was distributed in packaging that identifies Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD. Yellowfin tuna imported from this company with a production date in 2019 should not be used, served, repacked, or sold, and should be discarded.
While the FDA expects restaurants and retailers will have removed yellowfin tuna with a production date in 2019 from the Vietnamese supplier, consumers should ask if the yellowfin tuna being served or sold was imported from Truong Phu Xanh Co., LTD and has a production date in 2019.
Central Valley Meat Co, Food Standards Agency (FSA), The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Truong Phu Xanh Co, US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), Welsh Cottage Cakes