Salmonella concerns shut down production at Oahu farm
HONOLULU (AP) — The state Department of Health has ordered an Oahu seaweed farm to stop selling and distributing some of its products, which have been linked to several salmonella cases.
The products from Marine Agrifuture LLC, also known as Olakai Hawaii, include Kahuku Ogo, Robusta Ogo and Sea Asparagus.
They are sold wholesale and used in retail products, such as salad dressing, tea and condiments.
“Distributors and retailers have been notified to remove the affected products from sale or distribution immediately,” said Peter Oshiro, chief of the DOH Sanitation Branch. “We advise the public to discard any suspect product they may have.”
State officials have confirmed 14 cases of salmonella on Oahu, involving both adults and children, that are linked to poke prepared with limu or seaweed.
The state says lab tests conducted at the farm in Kahuku this month identified salmonella in the packing and processing tanks and elsewhere on the property.
“Marine Agrifuture is a major distributor of ogo and sea asparagus in Hawaii and its products may have been shipped to all islands as well as the mainland (California and Washington state),” the department said in a statement.
Officials are still working to confirm the locations where the products may have been shipped.
The farm will be allowed to resume sales once it shows the risk of contamination from bacteria has been mitigated at the source and that new sanitation practices have been implemented, the health department said.