If you're considering sushi for supper tonight, you might want to think again.
Food Safety News reports that federal regulators are investigating whether spicy tuna roll sushi is to blame for a recent salmonella outbreak that involves 19 states and the District of Columbia:
The majority of the cases have been reported from the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf coast, but include cases as far west as Missouri and Texas.
According to an internal FDA email, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized this outbreak as "ongoing and rapidly expanding," particularly due to the prolonged reporting lag time (which can be up to 32 days after a patient's infection is confirmed by lab analysis). Seven people reportedly have been hospitalized.
The FDA has been working with the CDC in investigating the outbreak and is continuing to eliminate other possible vehicles as the source of the illnesses. CDC officials postulate that sushi is the likely source of this outbreak, with spicy tuna roll sushi "highly suspect."
The FDA source said data collected by the states and the agency's district offices focuses on 6 implicated restaurant clusters where diners reported illness. Those clusters are in Texas, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and two are in Wisconsin.
- The FDA offers a helpful table of the major culprits of food poisoning — including what type of symptoms to expect and how long after ingestion those symptoms usually start: What You Need to Know About Foodborne Illness-Causing Organisms in the U.S.
- The CDC outlines the problem (with colorful infographics) and recommends what can be done to reduce foodborne illness: Making Food Safe To Eat
This program aired on April 4, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.