Raw ahi cubes distributed on Oahu test positive for hepatitis A
State health officials say they have been notified of imported frozen raw tuna or ahi cubes distributed by Tropic Fish Hawaii, LLC on Oahu that tested positive for hepatitis A.
HONOLULU - Imported frozen ahi cubes caused a health scare at several Oahu food establishments after it tested positive for Hepatitis A.
Times Supermarket had to close the seafood department at all of its stores for inspections and cleaning, a company spokesperson says eight stores were affected.
"We've disposed of everything, and we did a full, top to bottom sanitation," said Christopher Borden, Director of Marketing for Times Supermarket.
The Times Supermarket locations in Aiea, Liliha, Waipahu, Mililani, Kunia, Kaneohe, Kailua, and Shima's Market all received deliveries of possibly tainted fish. The fish may have been used to make poke and sold to customers.
"We want the product to be brought to our store if they have any product left," said Borden.
Customers who bought poke between April 28th and May 1st can get a refund with their receipt. The fish was imported from Indonesia, it passed an FDA inspection, and was distributed by Tropic Fish in Honolulu.
"There's more checkpoints that need to be put in place before stores get delivery of the product, and that's what we've working on," said Shawn Tanoue, President of Tropic Fish Hawaii.
Tropic Fish found out the ahi was tainted during a routine inspection.
"The test was being performed, and before the results came in, error in communication between the supplier and us, the product was released for sale," said Tanoue.
The company issued a voluntary recall for all food establishments affected.
Health officials said so far there are no reports of anyone getting sick, but it can take 2 to 6 weeks for anyone to see symptoms of Hepatitis A.
"Be sure to go see your personal physician and there's still time to get vaccinated," said Peter Oshiro, with the Department of Health.
Some symptoms of Hepatitis A include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Other food establishments that might have gotten some of the tainted fish include GP Hawaiian Catering, Crab Shack in Kapolei and the ABC Stores location at 205 Lewers Street in Waikiki.
Aloha Sushi at 3131 N. Nimitz Highway received, but did not use any of the tainted product to serve or sell food, according to health officials.
“We apologize for our mistake identifying Aloha Sushi as a food establishment that used the imported ahi recalled by our company yesterday,” said Shawn Tanoue, President of Tropic Fish Hawaii, LLC. “The information we reported to the Department of Health was incorrect and Aloha Sushi did not serve or sell our product that tested positive for hepatitis A.”
If you bought ahi products from the ABC Stores location on Lewers Street, you may return it for a refund. Call ABC Stores at (808) 591-2550 if there are any questions or concerns.
Additional information about hepatitis A is at http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/disease_listing/hepatitis-a/.
For a statewide list of vaccinating pharmacies, go to http://health.hawaii.gov/docd/vaccines-immunizations/vaccine-locators/ or call the Aloha United Way information and referral line at 211.