No secret I’m a huge fan of sushi. I like sushi rolls just fine but I’m big on the slab-of-fish-on-a-bed-of-rice nigiri thing. Spicy tuna rolls are sort of the ground beef of the sushi world. One more reason to think likewise today. Salmonella. An outbreak of an unusual strain of salmonella called Salmonella Bareilly has hit 19 states and DC, infecting 90 people since late January, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Oops on publicizing the event. The outbreak was made public on Tuesday when an internal memo was inadvertently sent to everyone at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to agency spokesperson Curtis Allen. Ouch. According to the memo, speculation as to the source of the outbreak centers around ”spicy tuna roll sushi” as being highly suspect, according to the Wall Street Journal reports. The source of the infection is as yet unknown.
Health officials are still underway conducting assessments and interviewing those who have fallen ill. “On initial interviews, many of the ill persons reported consuming sushi, sashimi or similar foods in a variety of locations in the week before becoming ill,” CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell told CNN.
Reports of the foodborne illness have mostly come from the eastern seaboard and Gulf Coast, though cases have been reported as far west as Missouri and Texas. Six clusters of restaurants in Texas, Wisconsin, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut have attracted much of the investigators attention.
No deaths have been reported as a result of the infection, but some of those affected have been hospitalized. The FDA is still coming to grips with the scale of the situation – they are unable to confirm which states have infected patients or how many, Allen told the Journal. Until further notified by the CDC, the public does not need to avoid any particular food or restaurant, health officials said. I don’t know about you, but I’m not eating any spicy tuna roll. Seems pretty cut and dry. I don’t live in any of the effected states, but I used to. That’s enough for me.
According to the CDC, salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The infection typically lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people are able to recover without treatment. However, some symptoms may be severe, and patients may need to be hospitalized. I, for one, can verify as to the veracity of that statement. I made chicken wings for my brother and I when we were in high school. Several hours later I was wishing for relief in the form of death. Salmonella is brutal.
Keep your eye our for tainted fish and stay away from scary sushi.