The U.S. Food and Drug Administration 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 Kentucky and 15 other states because they may cause scombroid poisoning.
The affected tuna steaks have sell-by dates of Aug. 29 through Sept. 14 and may be sold as raw yellowfin tuna steaks at the seafood counter or seasoned in store-prepped Styrofoam trays.
The agency says 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.
People who have symptoms of scombroid poisoning after eating the tuna steaks are being urged by the FDA to contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.
On Sept. 4, the FDA became aware of multiple scombroid poisoning cases in individuals who consumed tuna steaks purchased from three separate Kroger retail locations in Ohio.
The following day, Kroger agreed to remove all yellowfin tuna steaks from their stores in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. They also began notifying consumers who had purchased this product to dispose of or return the product to the store.
The FDA says they are working with the distributor to remove any additional product from the market.