The state Department of Health has ordered an Oahu seaweed farm to stop selling and distributing its Kahuku Ogo, Robusta Ogo and Sea Asparagus products, which have been connected to salmonella infections.
The Kahuku farm, Marine Agrifuture LLC, is also known as Olakai Hawaii.
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The state said reports of salmonella infections on Oahu were linked to consumption of ogo (or limu) and led to the investigation of Olakai Hawaii on Nov. 2 and 7. Lab tests identified salmonella bacteria in packing and processing tanks at the farm, as well as in the environment there.
“Distributors and retailers have been notified to remove the affected products from sale or distribution immediately,” said Peter Oshiro, chief of the DOH Sanitation Branch. “We advise the public to discard any suspect product they may have.”
“Marine Agrifuture is a major distributor of ogo and sea asparagus in Hawaii and its products may have been shipped to all islands as well as the mainland (California and Washington state). The department is still confirming all locations and states the product may have been shipped to,” a press release said.
Earlier today, Times Supermarkets said it would temporarily stop using raw limu (seaweed) in its poke products over concerns about salmonella.
There have been 14 cases of salmonella on Oahu linked to eating poke prepared with raw fish and limu (seaweed) from the seaweed farm.
The salmonella cases involve children and adults, who developed diarrheal illness from mid- to late October. Four cases required hospitalization.
Times said in a news release that although the limu has not been recalled, “the health and safety of Times’ shoppers is the company’s primary concern.”