The FDA is advising consumers to not eat yellowfin tuna steaks from the seafood counter or seasoned yellowfin tuna steaks in store-prepped Styrofoam trays from Kroger retail stores in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, VA and WV with sell by dates from August 29, 2019 and September 14, 2019 because they may cause scombroid poisoning.

Consumers of these products who are experiencing symptoms of scombroid poisoning should contact their healthcare provider. Consumers of these products who have recently experienced symptoms of scombroid poisoning should report their symptoms to their local Health Department.

What is Scombroid poisoning?

Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating fish that has not been properly refrigerated or preserved and therefore contains high levels of histamine. Scombroid poisoning is most commonly caused by fish that have naturally high levels of the amino acid histidine, which bacteria convert to histamine when the fish is not correctly stored.

Scombroid symptoms usually develop within a few minutes to an hour after eating contaminated fish. They usually resemble an allergic reaction, such as flushing of the face, headache, heart palpitations, itching, blurred vision, cramps, and diarrhea. Symptoms can be treated with antihistamines. Even without treatment, people usually get better within 12 hours.

If you suspect you have symptoms of scombroid poisoning, contact a health professional.

Summary of Problem and Scope

On September 4, 2019, the FDA became aware of multiple scombroid poisoning cases in individuals who consumed tuna steaks purchased from three separate Kroger retail locations in Ohio. On September 5, 2019, Kroger agreed to remove all yellowfin tuna steaks from their stores in AL, AR, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MO, MS, NE, OH, SC, TN, VA and WV as well as begin notifying consumers who had purchased this product to dispose of or return the product to the store.

The FDA is also working with the distributor to remove any additional product from the market.

Recommendations for Consumers

Consumers who have symptoms of scombroid poisoning should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.

To report a complaint or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction), you can:

  • Call an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator if you wish to speak directly to a person about your problem.
  • Complete an electronic Voluntary MedWatch form online.
  • Complete a paper Voluntary MedWatch form that can be mailed to FDA.
  • Visit www.fda.gov/fcic for additional consumer and industry assistance.

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