May 3, Honolulu, Hawaii – Times Supermarkets voluntarily exceeds FDA guidelines by requiring its seafood suppliers to conduct tests on all frozen ahi cubes being supplied to its stores. This voluntary test which is not a requirement of the FDA or State’s Department of Health tests for both hepatitis-A and salmonella. As a part of the testing process, Times’ suppliers are required to provide a certificate of clearance for all products tested prior to it being distributed to its stores. As you may have learned from the news, during routine testing of the product it was discovered that a portion of the supply of frozen ahi cubes tested positive for hepatitis-A. Despite Times’ mandatory testing requirement, the supermarket’s supplier failed to notify Times prior to shipping the potentially affected products to Times’ stores.
The Department of Health has already cleared Times’ seafood departments, which have been fully cleaned and sanitized, to re-open. The Supermarket wants to continue being proactive by letting its shoppers know when and where the product in question was available for sale:
Customers who purchased previously frozen poke during the sale dates listed above will receive a full refund for their purchase with a receipt. Times will safely discard any returned poke, or customers can throw away the product and thoroughly clean the area in which it was stored with a chlorine bleach solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of cool water.
Symptoms of hep-A take two weeks to appear, and are similar to those of flu. These include fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and low-grade fever. Almost everyone recovers fully from hepatitis A with a lifelong immunity and the illness is usually not life-threatening. Times’ encourages concerned customers to consult their physician if they have any questions.
“Because it generally takes two weeks for those infected to develop symptoms of Hepatitis A, vaccination or immune globulin can still provide some protection against the disease for those who may have been exposed in the last week,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist. “We remind those who received their first dose of hepatitis-a vaccination during an earlier outbreak on Oahu to obtain their second dose for long-term immunity.”
“The health and wellbeing of our customers has always been and will continue to be our primary concern,” said Chris Borden, Senior Director of Marketing and Merchandising at Times Supermarkets. “While we await testing results, we are making good on our pledge to continue keeping our customers informed. For further updates please see the company’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/timessupermarkets/