After months of investigation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have traced a nationwide hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak to raw scallops, CNN.com reports. So far, more than 200 people have become sick with the viral liver disease across Hawaii, Nevada and California. Until now, the cause was unknown.
Sea Port Products Corp, a major restaurant and commercial supplier of seafood, learned that its products were contaminated after conducting tests on August 17, 2016. The company has since voluntarily recalled its scallops and is working with federal authorities to ensure that all their affected products are pulled off shelves and out of storage repositories across the country.
According to the FDA, the affected scallops were reportedly distributed between November 23 and 24, 2015. So far, at least 206 people have become sick from hepatitis A after eating the infected shellfish. Of those, 51 were hospitalized. Thus far, all the HAV cases have involved adults.
Federal authorities at the CDC are now warning anyone who has eaten scallops in the affected states to keep an eye out for signs of infection—including severe stomach pains, dark jaundice and fatigue—between 15 and 50 days after their potential exposure.
The FDA also suggests that customers in Hawaii, Nevada and California who would like to eat scallops over the next few weeks ask their local restaurants where the scallops came from. The agency has also set up a new information line at 1-888-SAFEFOOD (723-3663) for other questions about food safety related to the outbreak.