By: James Peacock

More than one month ago, on May 1, 2017, the FDA was notified by the Hawaii Department of Health that samples of frozen ahi tuna cubes imported from Indonesia had tested positive for Hepatitis A. The tuna was brought into Hawaii, but was not inspected until after the fish had been distributed and sold in restaurants and retail stores. These findings led to a recall being issued on May 3, but the recall was largely limited to the island of Oahu. The recall affected tuna cubes distributed by PT Deho Canning Co, based out of Indonesia. The recall was issued by Tropical Fish, and it includes lot codes 609149 and 609187. While the tuna is no longer believed to be on the market, potentially contaminated tuna cubes were used to prepare poke sold between April 27 and May 1 at Times Supermarket and Shima’s locations in Waimanalo, Aiea, Waipahu, Mililani, Liliha, Kunia, Kaneohe, and Kailua. Several other retail and catering businesses also sold potentially contaminated tuna, and a full list of these establishments can be found here. At the time of this recall, only restaurants and retail locations on Oahu were subjected to the recall.

The Recall Expansion

Two weeks later, on May 16, Hilo Fish Company sent a notification to the FDA that stated that additional samples of ahi tuna cubes had tested positive for Hepatitis A contamination. What set these tests apart from previous ones is the fact that Hilo Fish Company received their tuna from Sustainable Seafood Company and Santa Cruz Seafood. The fish from these companies were also sent to restaurants and retail locations in California, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas. While both the FDA and the New York State Department of Health confirmed that the tuna sent to New York was not sold to the public, the same cannot be said for California, Texas, and Oklahoma. A full list of retail stores and restaurants that may have sold contaminated tuna are listed in the table below. This recall expansion was initiated by Hilo Fish Company on May 18, and impacted vacuum packed 8 ounce tuna steaks. These tuna steaks have the production date code 627152, the lot number 166623 and an expiration date of 2018-10-01. Frozen Yellowfin tuna cubes are also affected by the recall, packaged in vacuum sealed bags with random weights. The products were shipped in 15 pound cases, and were marked with the production date code 705342, the lot number 173448, and the expiration date 2019-04-01.

California Store Names






Almansor Court



701 S. Almansor St., Alhambra, CA



Arroyo Trabuco



26772 Avery Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA



Blue HI Café



2 Embarcardero, San Francisco, CA



Bonito Poke



2277 Shafter Ave. San Francisco, CA



Camp Four Wine Café



1508 10th St. Modesto, CA






555 W. Foothill Blvd., Claremont, CA






919 4th ST. San Rafael, CA






1020 10th St. Modesto, CA



Galaxy Foods Inc.



31224 Palos Verdes Dr. W., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA



Galetto Ristorante



1101 J St., Modesto, CA



Hill Sierra Gripp House



2003 W. Bullard, Fresno, CA



Hotel Irvine



17900 Jamboree Rd, Irvine, CA



Jus Poke



501 N. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA






1037 Laurel St. San Carlos, CA



Ola Mexican Kitchen



Huntington Beach, CA



Poke Shack



2001 Lawton St. San Francisco, CA



Shamrock Foods



12400 Riverside Dr. Eastvale, CA




Texas and Oklahoma Store Names






Central Market Kitchen N



HEB Vendor #15385, Austin, TX



Conservatory Plano



6401 Ohio Dr. Plano, TX



Hilton Garden Inn



23535 Northgate Crossing, Spring TX



Jack Ryan’s



102 N. College Ave. Tyler, TX



Jack Ryan’s



119 N. Longview St. Kilgore, TX



Johnny Tamale



4647 E. Sam Houston, Pasadena, TX



Marriott Conf. Center



2801 St. Hwy 9, Norman, OK



Myron’s Prime Steakhouse



10003 NW Military Hwy, San Antonio, TX



Prestonwood CC



15909 Preston Rd., Dallas, TX



Sea Ranch Restaurant



1 Padre Blvd., S Padre Island, TX



Sysco East Texas



4577 Estes Pkwy, Longview, TX



Sysco Foods Central Texas



1260 Schwab R. New Braunfels, TX



Sysco Food Houston



10710 Greens Crossing Blvd, Houston, TX



The Schooner



1507 S, Hwy 69, Nederland, TX


About Hep A

Hepatitis A can be a serious foodborne infection of the liver, but in many cases the infection is preventable. Good hygiene, including the thorough washing of hands, is an important step in halting the spread of any infections, not just Hepatitis A. By following other food safety techniques, many foodborne illness infections can be prevented. The best way to prevent a Hepatitis A infection is through getting a vaccination. The Hepatitis vaccine, first offered in 1995, is recommended by the CDC for all children over the age of 1. The vaccine works by introducing inactivated Hepatitis A virus to a person’s body in order to spur the creation of antibodies. These antibodies represent the body’s natural immune response to the presence of the virus, and they work to identify a specific virus in the bloodstream, which activates the body’s immune response to destroy the virus. The Hepatitis A vaccine can provide resistance to the virus for up to 25 years. The Hepatitis A antibodies also appear if Hepatitis A infects someone. The vaccine has been tremendously effective in limiting the amount of Hepatitis A infections. In 1989, statistics reported almost 40,000 cases of Hepatitis A, but today the CDC estimates that there are less than 5,000 cases of Hepatitis A per year. Again, the CDC recommends that all children over the age of 1 receive the vaccination, as well as those traveling to areas with high incidence rates of Hepatitis A, those working in hospital and research facilities, and those with chronic liver diseases.

Hepatitis A infections may not produce symptoms in those it infects, usually depending on their age. Asymptomatic cases of Hepatitis A are most common in children under the age of 6. About 70% of cases in young children do not produce any symptoms. Adults and children over the age of 6 will present the typical symptoms of a Hepatitis A infection, but 70% of these cases also present with jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes. A case of Hepatitis A poisoning will abruptly produce symptoms in as soon as 15 days after infection, although it may take up to 50 days. The CDC reports that a Hepatitis A infection will produce symptoms after 28 days, on average. The Hepatitis A virus targets the liver, and can cause symptoms including fever, vomiting, joint pain, nausea, clay-colored bowel movements, loss of appetite, dark urine, fatigue, abdominal pain, and jaundice. Although the symptoms will usually last for about 2 months, the CDC has said that there is a 10 to 15% chance of relapsing within 6 months. There is no risk of the infection becoming chronic. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of a Hepatitis A infection, contact a medical professional. If you may have eaten recalled and potentially contaminated tuna, it is also important that you get a Hepatitis A vaccine if you have not gotten one already.