Frozen ahi sold on Oahu tests positive for hepatitis A
  • Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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Frozen ahi sold on Oahu tests positive for hepatitis A

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    Straub Medical Center nurse Janelle Carroll administered a Hepatitis A vaccine to Brian Murdock in September. An additional Hep A vaccine booster is required six months later and is effective for about 25 years.

  • STAR-ADVERTISER STAFF

    Sarah Park, state epidemiologist, said that because it generally takes two weeks for those infected to develop symptoms of hepatitis A, vaccination or immune globulin can still offer protection against the disease for those who may have eaten the fish.

Imported frozen raw tuna or ahi cubes distributed by Tropic Fish Hawaii LLC is being recalled after it tested positive for hepatitis A, the state Department of Health said today.

The product, imported from Indonesia, was used to prepare poke sold between April 27 and May 1 by restaurants and stores on Oahu.

The frozen fish was used to prepare poke sold at Times Supermarket and Shima’s in Aiea, Kailua, Kaneohe, Kunia, Liliha, Mililani, Waipahu and Waimanalo.

It was also used to prepare food served or sold by GP Hawaiian Food Catering, the Crab Shack Kapolei (also known as Maile Sunset Bar & Grill in Kapolei), Aloha Sushi at 3131 N. Nimitz, and the ABC store at 205 Lewers St. in Honolulu, according to the department.

The product has been embargoed by the state, and health officials are working with the distributor and affected facilities to ensure proper sanitation and decontamination procedures.

Customers who consumed the product and are not vaccinated for hepatitis A are advised to consult with their doctor about vaccination, health officials said.

“Times Supermarket and Tropic Fish notified the department as soon as they learned of the test results on the imported fish,” Peter Oshiro, chief of the DOH Food Safety Program, said in a news release.

“All of the product is being traced, collected and held by the distributor. Fortunately, in this case, Tropic Fish Hawaii kept excellent records and has been contacting all retailers and pulling the product quickly,” Oshiro said.

Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist, said that because it generally takes two weeks for those infected to develop symptoms of hepatitis A, vaccination or immune globulin can still offer protection against the disease for those who may have eaten the fish.

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection usually appear from two to six weeks after exposure and include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, diarrhea, and yellow skin and eyes. Food service employees or anyone else showing symptoms of hepatitis A should stay home and contact their health care provider, officials said.

While vaccination provides the best protection, frequent hand-washing with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing a diaper and before preparing food can help prevent the spread of hepatitis A.

Appropriately cooking foods can also help to prevent infection, officials said.

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