In the wake of an April, 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcement that at least 116 people have become ill in a Salmonella outbreak linked to Sushi, the attorneys at Marler Clark are distributing a FAQ list for consumers who may have been exposed in the outbreak.

A total of 116 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bareilly have been reported from 20 states and the District of Columbia. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (5), District of Columbia (2), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Illinois (10), Louisiana (2), Maryland (11), Massachusetts (8), Mississippi (1), Missouri (2), New Jersey (7), New York (24), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (5), Rhode Island (5), South Carolina (3), Texas (3), Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (12).  12 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health agencies indicate that a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, from Moon Marine USA Corporation is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly infections. Nakaochi Scrape is tuna backmeat that is scraped from the bones of tuna and may be used in sushi, sashimi, ceviche, and similar dishes. Moon Marine USA Corporation (also known as MMI) of Cupertino, Calif. is voluntarily recalling 58,828 lbs of a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, labeled as Nakaochi Scrape AA or AAA. Nakaochi Scrape is tuna backmeat, which is specifically scraped off from the bones, and looks like a ground product.

 What do consumers need to know in a Sushi Salmonella Outbreak?

Q: I ate sushi and think I may have Salmonella. What are the symptoms of Salmonella infection?

A: Salmonella infections can have a broad range of illness, from no symptoms to severe illness. The most common clinical presentation is acute gastroenteritis. Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, and abdominal cramps, often accompanied by fever of 100°F to 102°F (38°C to 39°C). Other symptoms of Salmonella infection may include bloody diarrhea, vomiting, headache and body aches. The incubation period, or the time from ingestion of the bacteria until the symptoms start, is generally 6 to 72 hours; however, there is evidence that in some situations the incubation can be longer than 10 days.

Q: What should I do if I think I’m part of the sushi Salmonella outbreak?

A: The Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys advise that you contact your local health department to report your illness. Again, if you believe you need medical assistance for your Salmonella infection, contact your healthcare provider. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that for every reported case of Salmonella, an additional 29.3 infections go undiagnosed and unreported. Undiagnosed Salmonella victims are never counted in official Salmonella outbreak case-counts. There may well be nearly 3,000 sickened.

Q: How will I know if I’m part of the sushi Salmonella outbreak?

A: Salmonella bacteria can be detected in stool. A fecal sample provided to a healthcare provider or health department is placed in nutrient broth or on agar and incubated for 2-3 days. After that time, a trained microbiologist can identify Salmonella bacteria, if present, and confirm its identity by looking at biochemical reactions. Treatment with antibiotics before collecting a specimen for testing can affect bacterial growth in culture, and lead to a negative test result even when Salmonella causes the infection. If Salmonella is isolated from an ill person’s stool, a bacterial isolate can be compared to isolates from other ill individuals – and possibly from food samples. Bacterial isolates that have matching “DNA Fingerprints” indicate a potential common source of Salmonella infection. Epidemiologists work to determine whether two people with positive bacterial isolates with indistinguishable DNA fingerprints are part of a common outbreak – in this case, one tied to Salmonella-contaminated sushi.

Q: I ate sushi and got Salmonella. I’m thinking about hiring a law firm to represent me, but am concerned about the cost of legal representation for my Salmonella case. What are the costs of hiring a lawyer for a Salmonella case? How do I find the most experienced Salmonella attorney?

A: The lawyers at Marler Clark have been representing Salmonella victims since 1998 and have recovered over $600,000,000 for clients. The Marler Clark attorneys provide free case evaluations for all potential sushi Salmonella outbreak victims, and victims of other foodborne illness outbreaks. Our Salmonella lawyers do not charge an hourly fee. Our firm works on behalf of clients and only collects fee on a contingent basis. That means we collect our fees for Salmonella cases as a percentage of the recovery obtained on our clients’ behalf after the case has been resolved. You can contact Marler Clark for a free case evaluation and further explanation of fees through our free case evaluation form or by calling us toll-free at (866) 770-2032.