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Salmonella-tainted limu in poke sickens 14 on Oahu

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The state Department of Health announced this afternoon that 14 cases of salmonella on Oahu have been linked to eating poke prepared with raw fish and limu (seaweed).

The state Department of Health announced this afternoon that 14 cases of salmonella on Oahu have been linked to eating poke prepared with raw fish and limu (seaweed).

The cases involve children and adults, who developed diarrheal illness from mid- to late October. Four cases required hospitalization.

The tainted limu comes from an Oahu seaweed farm, which was ordered to stop its operations and advise its customers to immediately remove the product from sale.

“Although our investigation is still ongoing, our preliminary investigation has implicated limu, also known as ogo or seaweed produced at a particular farm on Oahu,” state Epidemiologist Sarah Park said in a written statement.

The Health Department has stepped in to ensure none of the product is put on the market pending further investigation.

“At the same time, we want the public to be aware of the situation so they may seek medical care if needed, Park said.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause illness in humans who come in contact with affected animals or their waste by direct contact or by contaminated food or water.

Diarrhea, sometimes bloody, abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting are some symptoms.

Symptoms typically begin within 12 to 72 hours after exposure, the Health Department said.

Infants, the elderly and those with health conditions or weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to serious illness and death.

Salmonella can be prevented by thoroughly cooking food to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Washing hands, kitchen work surfaces and utensils with soap and water can prevent the bacteria from spreading.

Handwashing is also advised after coming into contact with animals, especially birds, reptiles and pet feces.

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  • More details, please! Where was the poke purchased? What and where is the limu farm implicated in this outbreak? How did Salmonella taint the limu? (Perhaps raw sewage discharged during heavy rainfalls?) C’mon, Star-Advertiser, do your job and provide essential details!

  • I remember when some guy harvested limu from that filthy canal in Ala Moana beach park and sold it to a vendor in Chinatown. I don’t remember hearing about anyone getting sick from that.

  • What a poorly written article as it does not mention where the limu poke was made and bought as that is MOST IMPORTANT to prevent people from getting more salmonella. What reporting is this as it does not disclose the source so people are aware of this product and not purchase it at the store or stores where these people came down with salmonella…i don’t want to know about limu being a cause of salmonella as much as I want to know where not to purchase it from the respective store. Geezus, do some real reporting and not some high school feature story, please.

  • The lack of details as to where the suspect poke was sold and how wide spread was the limo distributed is very sad. How just is the public supposed to be able to protect
    themselves and family. Just another example of terrible reporting by SA. This kind of stuff I expect from the State Dept of Health but you would expect that SA would do some
    digging into the story and not just accept a press release from the head spinner for the Dept of Health.

  • I buy my Poke at Safeway (Fresh Limu Ahi) … just found out a couple of days ago about this recall … THANK GOD I HAVEN’T GOTTEN SICK YET !!!!!

    • Libel suit avoidance? Agree public awareness of vendors and growers is necessary to prevent further outbreak. State Epidemiologist failure to disclose grower indicate she is not prepared to stick her neck out yet. Ouch, though she did with Genki and the scallop grower in the Philippines.

  • Yup, no disclosure means a business with strong connections, thats politics Hawaii style. When it leaks, we will all see who has clout. They should realize that it’s not their fault it was tainted.

  • the DOH discloses where all those sick employees with hepatitis A works without regard for the financial effect of those eateries for the sake of public safety. now it appears they’re deciding not to disclose the business that is the source of the infection perhaps to shield them from financial disaster forsaking public safety this time? c’mon get your act together and let’s be consistent here and not bunch of hypocrites! and of course star advertiser fails miserably once again in reporting the whole news. but that’s what happens when you’re the only paper in town….

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