Tuna in several states may be contaminated with hepatitis A

Sample of hand rolled sushi
Credit: © 2013 DigiPub

Bad news for sushi lovers in California, Oklahoma, New York, and Texas: a popular seller of yellowfin tuna has issued a recall in those states of its raw fish for fear it contains Hepatitis A virus, and anyone who's indulged and hasn't been vaccinated should see a physician.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, Hilo Fish Company Inc. initiated the recall about two weeks ago, but the administration didn't make the recall public until Friday. And while the presence of Hepatitis A is suspected by the company, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say no cases of the virus have been confirmed as linked to the tuna.

The tuna-in-question was distributed to both grocery stores and restaurants in California, Oklahoma, and Texas, plus Sysco—the country's largest food distributor, which supplies to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, hotels and other hospitality businesses. The tuna, however, was not sold directly to consumers in New York. The recalled tuna was sourced by the company from suppliers in Vietnam and the Philippines, the FDA says.

To see exactly which products are affected by the recall, read the official notice, here.

According to the FDA, anyone who's eaten yellowfin tuna in the last few weeks—if you haven't been vaccinated against the virus or are displaying symptoms of the virus—should seek post-exposure treatment (a shot) as soon as possible. Signs of a Hepatitis A infection include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine, and pale stool. These signs, the FDA says, could last up to 50 days after exposure to the virus through food.

"If you are unsure if you have been vaccinated against hepatitis A virus, contact your health professional to check your immunization records. If you have been vaccinated, no further action is needed. If you are unable to determine whether you have already been vaccinated, receiving an additional dose of vaccine is not harmful," according to the FDA notice.