The Food and Drug Administration is investigating an outbreak of food poisoning linked to yellowfin tuna from Vietnam that has resulted in 47 people nationwide getting sick and one person being hospitalized. Yellowfin is also known as ahi.
The FDA said it has placed yellowfin tuna Truong Phu Xanh Co, LTD of Vietnam on Import Alert after the incidents of scombrotoxin fish poisoning. An Import Alert means incoming yellowfin tuna from the company may be detained by the FDA without inspection until the company proves it meets U.S. food safety standards.
The FDA said it asked Truong Phu Xanh Co. to initiate a voluntary recall in January, but the company has not yet complied.
Importers, suppliers, and distributors who received yellowfin tuna from Truong Phu Xanh Co. that was produced in 2019 are urged to get rid of it. Restaurants and retailers are urged to ask their suppliers about the source of their yellowfin tuna, and customers are urged to ask the same of the places they purchase the tuna.
The illnesses happened between August 8 and October 15, 2019. They occurred in Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.
There have been 11 cases in Ohio, according to the FDA.
The FDA also said the source of the tuna for the illnesses announced last week in Seattle is not related to Truong Phu Xanh Co.
Scombrotoxin fish poisoning occurs when fish begin to spoil, resulting in increased histamine levels. Because the poisoning is temporary or medically reversible, the FDA said it did not meet the criteria that would allow the agency to launch a mandatory recall.