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Scallops Linked to Hawaii Hepatitis A Outbreak Shipped to Nevada and California Too

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses linked to raw scallops.

Fast Facts

  • The FDA and CDC are supporting the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) in an investigation of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections linked to scallops supplied by Sea Port Products Corp. On August 17, 2016, Hawaii Department of Health reported that 206 people have been confirmed to have become ill with hepatitis A in that state.
  • On August 17, 2016, the FDA, Hawaii DOH, CDC and state partners informed Sea Port Products Corp that epidemiological, laboratory and traceback information indicates their scallops are the likely source of illnesses. On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp initiated a voluntary recall of frozen Bay Scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015. The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada.  According to Sea Port Products Corp, the recalled products are not intended for retail sale. The FDA is working with the recalling firm to ensure their recall is effective and that recalled product is removed from the market.
  • Restaurants and other retailers should not sell or serve the recalled Bay Scallops. According to Sea Port Products Corp, the recalled products are not intended for retail sale. Consumers should ask the restaurant or retailer where their scallops came from to make sure they do not eat recalled Bay Scallops from Sea Port Products Corp.

What is the Problem and What is Being Done About It?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are supporting the State of Hawaii in an investigation of hepatitis A illnesses linked to raw scallops.

According to the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH), 206 people have been confirmed to have become ill with hepatitis A. Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 12, 2016 to August 9, 2016. All cases have been in adults and 51 have required hospitalization.

The FDA’s traceback investigation involved working with Hawaii DOH to trace the path of food eaten by those made ill back to a common source. The traceback investigation determined that Sea Port Products Corp imported the scallops that were later supplied to certain Genki Sushi locations in Hawaii, where ill people reported eating.

On August 17, 2016, FDA laboratory analysis of two scallop samples, which were collected on August 11, 2016, were confirmed positive for hepatitis A. These samples were imported by Sea Port Products Corp.

The FDA, CDC and state partners immediately informed Sea Port Products Corp that epidemiological, laboratory and traceback information indicates their scallops are the likely source of illnesses. On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp initiated a voluntary recall of frozen Bay Scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015. The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada. According to Sea Port Products Corp, the recalled products are not intended for retail sale. The FDA is working with the recalling firm to ensure their recall is effective and that recalled product is removed from the market.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Hepatitis A is usually spread when a person ingests fecal matter — even in microscopic amounts — from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person (fecal-oral route).

What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A?

Illness occurs within 15 to 50 days of exposure and in adults includes fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool.

Who is at Risk?

Hepatitis A is a disease that originates in and is spread by people, rather than animals. It can occur  when an infected food handler prepares food without appropriate hand hygiene. However, food (as is suspected in this outbreak) or water contaminated with HAV can cause outbreaks of disease.

In rare cases, particularly in patients with pre-existing severe illness or who are immunocompromised, HAV infection can progress to liver failure and death.  People who have underlying liver conditions or pre-existing severe illness, or who are immunocompromised, should be vaccinated for HAV.

What Specific Products were Recalled?

On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp initiated a voluntary recall of frozen Bay Scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015.

scallops

The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada. According to Sea Port Products Corp, the recalled products are not intended for retail sale.

What Do Restaurants and Retailers Need To Do?

Retailers and other food service operators should not sell or serve the recalled products. These operations should also:

  • Wash and sanitize display cases and refrigerators where potentially contaminated products were stored.
  • Wash and sanitize cutting boards, surfaces, and utensils used to prepare, serve, or store potentially contaminated products.
  • Wash hands with hot water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
  • Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators who have processed and packaged any potentially contaminated products need to be concerned about cross contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with the potentially contaminated products.

What Do Consumers Need To Do?

Water, shellfish, and salads are the most frequent foodborne sources of hepatitis A. You can avoid Hepatitis A transmission from seafood by thoroughly cooking it. Hepatitis A can be transmitted from person to person. Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures.  Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling food. Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after using the bathroom and changing diapers to help protect themselves from hepatitis A, as well as other foodborne diseases.

Consumers should ask the restaurant or retailer where their scallops came from to make sure they do not eat recalled Bay Scallops from Sea Port Products Corp.

The FDA has provided information on selecting and serving fresh and frozen seafood safely.  Some people are at greater risk for foodborne illness and should not eat raw or partially cooked fish or shellfish. These susceptible groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • Older adults
  • Persons whose immune systems are compromised
  • Persons who have decreased stomach acidity

If you are unsure of your risk, ask your healthcare provider.

Who Should be Contacted?

Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have become ill from eating raw scallops.

The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern time, or to consult http://www.fda.gov.

Big Island Police Searching for California Man Reported Missing and Last Seen in Hilo

Hawaiʻi County police are searching for a 31-year-old California man who was reported missing.

Yogi Yoswara

Yogi Yoswara

Yogi Yoswara was last seen in Hilo at 9 p.m. on December 19.

He is described as 5-foot-7, 140 pounds with short black hair and brown eyes.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona

 

Department of Agriculture Begins Pilot Project Aimed at Monitoring Produce Temperatures During Shipping

With help from companies based from Taiwan to California, the Hawaii Department of Agriculture has begun a pilot project aimed at monitoring temperatures of fresh produce during shipping.

“The first phase is to test among three different distribution centers in the islands,” said John Ryan, who heads the state agency’s quality assurance office…

More Here: Hawaii Launches RFID Cold Chain Monitoring Project

NWA… My Return to Compton, California

The last two times I’ve gone to California I have made it a point to stop by my grandmothers house on my Dad’s side of the family.

House is still the same after 30 some years

House is still the same after 30 some years

My grandmother lives in Compton, California.

In 2009, the CQ Press using data from F.B.I. “Crime in the United States 2008” rated Compton as the 2nd most dangerous city in America.[4] In 2006, the Morgan Quitno Corporation rated Compton as the most dangerous city in the United States.[5] The city is notorious for gang violence, primarily caused by the Bloods, the Crips and numerous Mexican gangs. Compton’s violent reputation was popularized in the late 1980s by the rise to prominence of local gangsta rap groups Compton’s Most Wanted and especially N.W.A. and Eazy-E, who released the famous albums Straight Outta Compton and Eazy-Duz-It in 1988. Since then, “Compton” has been synonymous with anything ghetto or gang-related. Compton has a homicide rate about eight times higher than the national average, most of which are gang killings. Economic conditions and Compton’s location as the center of the South Los Angelesghettos” make crime prevention more difficult. Although crime rates had been falling for years after the crack epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s, Compton has in recent years witnessed spikes in the rate of violent crime.

Going back to Compton the first time after some 25 years about 5 years ago was an experience… however, this one was even more of an experience.

The first time I went back five years ago, was when my wife and I were following the UH Football team around and they were playing USC one week and the next week they were playing UNLV in Las Vegas and my wife and I decided to take a road trip with the team.

It was weird that time because I was only planning on meeting up with my grandmother after all these years, but somehow, word got out that I was coming in to town and I had about 20 relatives show up.

It was the morning of the USC vs. UH Football game and I was so overwhelmed by the flood of emotions that happened to me that morning, that I don’t even remember the football game that well… other then the fact that UH got their asses handed to them.

This past trip last week, grandma’s house in Compton had even more surprises for me.

I met up with my one of my half brothers, Kane, whom I hadn’t seen for over 28 years and hadn’t even been in contact until the last two years thanks to the internet at his wifes parent’s house where they gracefully accepted me into their Hispanic household.

Me and My brother reunite after 28 years

My Brother and I reunite after 28 years

After meeting my brother and his wifes family, we followed them into Compton to meet up with my grandmother.

My son, my bro and my grandmother

My son, my bro and my grandmother

When we arrived I knew something was up as there were a lot of cars in the driveway.

A couple of my Uncles

A couple of my Uncles

My bro and I quickly realized that this was going to be an interesting evening when out of nowhere,  my father that I have not communicated with for over 28 years and Kane himself pretty much disowned him as well when he was younger,  strolled into the house.

Dad talking to my brother and one of my "tiny" cousins

Dad talking to my brother and one of my "tiny" cousins

I myself really didn’t have much to say to him at first and didn’t really even know what to say to the guy that has been in the back of my mind all these years… I mean it was him that conceived half of me.

Interesting shirt dad

Interesting shirt dad

I kicked back with my cousins and stayed away from my father for most of the night, because I’ve always told myself that I might ring his neck for some of the things he has done to my family.

Me can cuz "Coach Damu"

Me and cuz "Coach Damu"

It was interesting to hear about some of the stories of some of my cousins and family members that have grown up in Compton.

My bro and cousin

My bro and cousin

By the time folks started to leave… we forgot to gather for a family picture… however, this is a picture of the the “Tucker’s” that remained by the time we did get a chance to take a picture.

A bunch of Tucker's

A bunch of Tucker's

I’m glad I have reunited with my dad’s side of the family and will make a point to  continue to visit them when I get the chances to go to California.