Scallops Linked to Hepatitis A Outbreak

Frozen, raw scallops distributed by Sea Port Products Corp. are being voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . The scallops, which were distributed to restaurants and other vendors in Hawaii, California, and Nevada, tested positive for the hepatitis A virus.

The scallops, produced on Nov. 23 and 24, 2015, were imported from the Philippines and the packages were not intended for retail sale. The Department of Health confirmed 206 hepatitis cases in Hawaii and identified the scallops—served at a popular sushi chain, Genki Sushi restaurants—as the probable source of the outbreak.

As of Aug. 17, 2016, 11 of the restaurants have been closed and required to dispose of their current food supply and paper/plastic products like plates, napkins, and utensils, and disinfect the facilities before reopening. Some people who have developed the infection did not eat at the restaurant chain, so additional sources are likely.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hepatitis A is a highly-contagious liver infection usually transmitted through person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water./) Vaccination offers the best protection for hep A infection. Proper handwashing also can reduce transmission. Symptoms in unvaccinated individuals include fever, loss of appetite, and nausea. They usually develop 15 to 50 days after exposure.

The FDA recommends that people ask where the restaurant’s scallops come from before ordering them in states affected by the recall. If you have recently eaten scallops and develop symptoms of hepatitis A, contact your healthcare provider.

Learn more about Food Poisoning and When to Call the Doctor.