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John Bull Tuna cleared

Soul OriginTests conducted by the NSW Food Authority have cleared the batches of John Bull Tuna believed to have been linked to a food poisoning outbreak at a Sydney CBD cafe.

John Bull Tuna Chunky Style in Sunflower Oil was recalled by the NSW Food Authority in February after seven customers of the Soul Origin Cafe in Sydney’s CBD showed symptoms of Scombroid, or histamine poisoning after all eating a tuna salad.

The tuna was imported from Thailand by Victoria-based company, FTA Food Solutions, and is mainly used as a catering product.

According to the NSW Food Authority, histamine fish poisoning usually occurs when naturally occurring bacteria in certain species of fish produce an enzyme which converts histidine in the fish to histamine. This can occur as a result of temperature abuse of product at the catching or processing stage.

The NSW Food Authority conducted test results on 21 cans of John Bull Tuna which showed there were no issues with the product and were fit for human consumption.

The tests were carried out on cans from the Soul Origin café and its food products supplier and all results showed that the product was fit for human consumption and came back well within the food safety requirements.

“FTA Food Solutions has welcomed the official test results from the NSW Food Authority that shows that all cans tested from the batch of John Bull Tuna supplied to a Sydney café, where a number of people became ill, are all clear and fit for human consumption,” FTA Food Solutions said. 

FTA Food Solutions said it also commissioned its own independent tests on three different batches of John Bull Tuna. 

Unopened cans of the same batch of John Bull Tuna in Sunflower Oil used by the café in question, as well as two additional batches, were tested by an independent laboratory and were found to meet stringent quality standards meaning the tuna was fit for human consumption and came back well within the food safety requirements. 

“Firstly we would like to pass on our sympathy to the patrons of the café who have been affected by the recent outbreak and we hope that they have made a full recovery,” FTA Food Solutions director, Rob Burgess, said.

“All test results, official and independent, have indicated that the batch of tuna in question was not responsible for the recent food poisoning. All samples tested from unopened cans were found to meet quality standards fit for consumption and came back well within the food safety requirements.

“We are extremely disappointed with the initial statements and media commentary that indicated John Bull Tuna had high levels of histamine when the test results indicate this is not the case. We wish to assure our distributors and all of our customers that FTA Food Solutions will continue to demand the highest of quality standards from our suppliers,” Burgess said.

Independent tests were also carried out by ISA Value Co on its canned tuna in Thailand and all results showed the product had met quality standards and were fit for human consumption and came back well within the food safety requirements.

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