Whole Foods recalls tuna steaks due to possible high levels of histamine

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whole foods recalls histamine tainted tunaPackages of frozen yellow fin tuna steaks sold at Whole Foods Market stores in more than two dozen states are being recalled due to concerns about high levels of histamine that could cause a reaction called scombroid poisoning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced.

Eating fish with elevated histamine levels can cause rashes, diarrhea, flushing, sweating, headache, vomiting and burning or swelling of the mouth, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Certain types of fish, including tuna, can become tainted with high histamine levels caused by bacteria breaking down spoiled fish -- creating histamine as one of the byproducts, the CDC said.

Symptoms typically show up quickly -- within minutes to an hour or two. The symptoms typically pass without treatment, but can be more severe for people taking certain kinds of medication.

Two incidents of suspected scombroid poisoning were reported. Whole Foods called them "isolated incidents," but said it is recalling all packages as a precaution. It is not clear how many packages are being recalled or what percentage might have been tainted, Whole Foods spokeswoman Libba Letton told WalletPop.

She also said "for competitive reasons" she could not identify the name of the supplier of the fish, which was sold under the store's brand, but did identify where it came from.

"This fish is caught, processed, packaged and frozen in Taiwan, where yellowtail tuna are indigenous," Letton said.

The recalled fish is labeled "Whole Catch Yellow fin Tuna Steaks" and was sold in 12-ounce packages. They have a best if used by date of Dec. 5, 2010. The lot code is: 4853309157A.

No other Whole Foods fish product is subject to this recall. The company said it has already removed the remaining inventory from stores.

It was sold in Washington D.C. and the following states: Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, Connecticut, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Maine.

For more information, call Whole Foods at 512-542-0656.

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