Recently a Seafood- Salmonella outbreak has prompted the recall of frozen, raw, canned tuna. At last count, the outbreak has sickened at least 13 people, including one in the state of Minnesota. Raw canned seafood is popular in restaurants that feature raw dishes such as sushi, sashimi and ceviche. Salmonella is usually associated with undercooked eggs, chicken and produce from farms that use chicken manure as fertilizer, but this case shows that the danger of food poisoning from unlikely sources is a real risk and requires some extra food safety training for Seafood-Salmonella.
Seafood-Salmonella from Contaminated Ingredients
The only sure-fire way to eliminate salmonella is through heating proteins to proper cooking temperatures, so what can food safety managers do about salmonella that shows up in raw or undercooked foods?
First, follow news stories such as this and pay attention to the FDA’s recall list. For your convenience, we also have a handy widget posted on the right side of our blog page that you can check out while you read this article. Keeping up to date on these types of news stories and recalls is vital if you serve sensitive products such as sushi, sashimi or other raw and undercooked products.
Once you’ve been alerted to these Seafood-Salmonella stories, check your inventory immediately to determine if your stock contains potentially contaminated product. In the case of canned seafood, these recalls usually include batch numbers which are printed on every can. If you have the same brand of canned seafood or a different product from the same manufacturer, but the batch numbers do not match, don’t just assume your product is safe to serve. Do a little more research into the recall or call your local health inspector to verify the extent of contaminated items.
Since many of these factors are out of the control of food service protection managers and cannot be countered by even the most rigid food safety training, be proactive if one of your guests is sickened by these types of products. Record batch numbers and work with your health inspector to determine whether or not your guest was sickened by tainted product or some other factor. If you do have such an incident, do not attempt to serve the same product to any other guests. It’s never safe to assume a food-poisoning case is an isolated incident.
Do you serve raw seafood in your restaurant? If so, do you prefer fresh fish or canned and frozen product?