August 19, 2016 — Laboratory tests by the FDA have confirmed the presence of hepatitis A in scallops that were imported from the Philippines and sold at Genki Sushi in Hawaii.
The Hawaii Department of Health said “Sea Port Bay Scallops (Wild Harvest, Raw Frozen)” tested positive for Hepatitis A.
The scallops originated in Suba Basbas, Philippines. They were imported to Hawaii by Sea Port Products Corp. and sold to Genki Sushi by Koha Oriental Foods.
The scallops are the likely source of the biggest outbreak of hepatitis A in decades. At least 206 people have been sickened since mid-April, including 51 who were hospitalized. All but 9 victims are from Oahu.
In a release (PDF), Hawaii epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park said the test results are an “important validation of our investigation” and they are working to end the outbreak.
The state has placed an embargo on the product and destroyed what product remains. They also ordered 11 Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai to close for cleaning.
Vaccination is the best way to protect against hepatitis A. Anyone who was exposed should ask a doctor about the vaccine or immune globulin (IG), which can provide protection if given within two weeks.
Anyone who ate at Genki Sushi in the last four months should be vigilant for symptoms of hepatitis A — fatigue, nausea, dark urine, muscle aches, loss of appetite, low-fever, and generally feeling sick. It can take 15-50 days before symptoms appear, and they typically last for several months.
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