The Kroger grocery chain recalled fresh yellowfin tuna steaks from stores in 16 states because some consumers had signs of poisoning from improper chilling, the FDA announced.
The tuna sold from seafood counters or seasoned in foam trays from display cases may be contaminated with scombrotoxin that can make people ill, according to a Kroger notice. The fish has sell by dates from Aug. 2 to Sept. 14.
The FDA learned of “multiple scombroid poisoning cases” in people who ate tuna steaks purchased from three Kroger stores in Ohio. The FDA is working with the distributor to remove any additional product from the market.
Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating fish that wasn’t properly refrigerated or preserved and therefore contains high levels of histamine, the FDA explains. 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.
Symptoms usually develop a few minutes after eating contaminated fish, the FDA says. They resemble an allergic reaction, including flushing of the face, headache, heart palpitations, itching, blurred vision, cramps and diarrhea. Antihistamines can treat the symptoms. Even without treatment, people usually get better within 12 hours.
Kroger recalled the fish from stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Dillons, Baker’s and Gerbes stores are included.
People should throw out the tuna or return it to the store for a refund. Kroger asks people to check their freezers for the fish. “We are sorry for this inconvenience,” the company’s notice says. “Your safety is important to us.”
Kroger says consumers may contact Alfa International at 855-551-0118.