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True World Foods products cleared in hepatitis A outbreak


    The Department of Health showed a box of the Sea Port Bay Scallops that tested positive for the hepatitis A virus.

True World Foods announced today that it has been cleared of allegations that it distributed tainted scallops to sushi restaurants in Hawaii.

The seafood distributor, based in Rockleigh, N.J., had imported frozen Sea Port Bay Scallops but they were embargoed at its Honolulu warehouse last week for fear they were contaminated by hepatitis A. None made it to any restaurants, the Hawaii Department of Health confirmed.

True World said today it is destroying the suspect scallops under the supervision of the Food and Drug Administration.

The company said it has also suspended the sale of any seafood produced by the supplier implicated in the hepatitis A outbreak, De Oro Resources Inc., of Suba Basbas, Philippines.

As of Wednesday, 228 people have contracted hepatitis A in the outbreak that health authorities traced to frozen scallops that were served raw at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai. Those scallops were supplied by another distributor.

On Aug. 18, three lots of frozen Bay Scallops, produced on Nov. 23 and 24, and numbered 5885, 5886 and 5887, were recalled by their importer, Sea Port Products Corp., of Kirkland, Wash. None of the scallops at True World’s other 22 warehouses across the country were from those lots, but sales were stopped in any case.

“This incident marks the first time in our 38-year history that seafood distributed by True World Foods has been linked to hepatitis A contamination, despite the fact that we sold 34 million pounds of seafood last year,” said Robert Bleu, the company’s president. “Food safety is a top priority at our company, and we are continually monitoring our suppliers, processes and procedures to protect the health of every consumer who eats at any of our customer sites.”

Cooking scallops to 185 degrees Fahrenheit would have killed the virus, the company said.

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  • Sure cooking the scallops through at 185 degrees would leave you with a dried up morsel of cat food. We eat them raw or lightly seared because of the wonderful flavor and texture of the precious and beloved scallop. And yes, I got my shot.

    • Cooking to 185 degrees would only be a safety measure just in case that there were harmful microorganisms in the food. Contaminated food should not be acceptable for consumption even if it was meant to be cooked rather than eaten raw. The article never says whether the other lots of scallops that were eventually destroyed were also tested to determine whether they were contaminated to see the pervasiveness of the bad seafood. Or maybe this might be opening up a too big a can of worms.

      • No one is is going to believe the company’s test results. And the idea behind sampled testing is that a single sample represents the whole lot.

        The feds will demand that all of the whole lot be destroyed. You cannot test the whole lot to determine a portion to be sold because each test makes the scallop unsellable.

    • That’s gross. Thaw those things out and they are literally covered with slime. I would run them through the wash first. Beloved scallops or often ray meat or shark meat, don’t you know?

      • If the meat is cut for market it always has some oozing. Esp fillets, I just thaw and cook. Or add marianate or panko. No odd flavors noted afterwards.

  • Saw a commercial for genki today…it said they have the “freshest” sushi. So FROZEN scallops that were harvested in Nov 2015 are the “freshest” anyone can get?

  • So… it is very confusing. Then, where did the scallops come from that contained HEP A? Or, what other product contained said HEP A? This article is confusing.

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