FDA Issues Import Alert On Frozen Raw Tuna

Import Alert Name:


Reason for Alert:

(Note: This import alert represents the Agency's current guidance to FDA field personnel regarding the manufacturer(s) and/or product(s) at issue. It does not create or confer rights for or on any person, and does not operate to bind FDA or the public.) 

In May 2017, the FDA sampled/analyzed frozen raw tuna products and found that they contained Hepatitis A virus. Follow up FDA screening found a second firm's raw frozen tuna contained Hepatitis A virus. 

Hepatitis A Virus is excreted in feces of infected people and can produce clinical disease when susceptible individuals consume contaminated water or foods. Hepatitis A Virus is primarily transmitted by person-to-person contact through fecal contamination, but common-source epidemics from contaminated food and water also occur. Poor sanitation and crowding facilitate transmission. Contamination of foods by infected workers in food production facilities/processing plants and restaurants is common. No known non-human sources of the virus exist. FDA believes that Hepatitis A Virus contaminated seafood is a result of insanitary conditions in the production or packing facilities, e.g., poor worker hygiene, inadequate worker sanitation facilities, and/or contaminated water supply.


Division may detain, without physical examination, shipments of fresh or frozen raw seafood from the firms identified on the Red List of this Alert. 

This alert EXCLUDES LACF (canned and pouched) seafood products (i.e products with a scheduled process on file with CFSAN per 21 CFR 113). 

Recommendations for additions to the Red List should be forwarded to the Division of Import Operations (DIO). DIO and FDA's Center for Food and Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) will evaluate regulatory packages on a case-by-case basis.

Requests for Removal from Detention without Physical Examination under This Import Alert:

If a firm and/or a representative thereof wishes to petition for removal from detention without physical examination under this Import Alert, all relevant information supporting the request should be forward to the following address: 

Food and Drug Administration 
Division of Import Operations 
12420 Parklawn Drive, ELEM-3109
Rockville, MD 20857

Or, be sent via email to: Importalerts2@fda.hhs.gov

Per FDA's regulatory procedures manual (RPM) Chapter 9-8 "Detention without Physical Examination (DWPE)" for those products subject to DWPE because it appears to be violative under Section 801(a)(3) of the FD&C Act, a minimum of five (5) consecutive non-violative, commercial shipments should be offered for import into the United States (and found to be in compliance) before the FDA may consider that the appearance of the violation has been overcome, and that it may be appropriate to remove the firm/product combination from DWPE. 

In addition, when a product is placed on detention without physical examination because it appears violative under Section 801(a)(1), analysis of samples from representative shipments will generally not be sufficient to overcome the appearance of the violation or warrant removal from detention without physical examination. 

In order for FDA to consider removing a firm and/or product from detention without physical examination, FDA must have evidence which establishes the conditions that gave rise to the apparent violation have been resolved and which gives FDA confidence that future entries will be in compliance with the Act. Therefore, it is expected the firm and/or an agent thereof will submit information outlining the firm's investigation into the root cause of the violation as well as any follow-up steps taken to prevent violations in future shipments.

For questions or issues involving import operations, contact ORA's Division of Import Operations at (301) 796-0356. 

For questions or issues concerning science, analysis, preparation, or analytical methodology, contact ORA's Office of Regulatory Science at (301) 796-6600. 

For questions on policy or sample collection recommendations contact CFSAN, Division of Enforcement, Food Adulteration Assessment Branch at (240) 402-1750.

Product Description:




"The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to Section 801(a)(3) in that it appears to contain Hepatitis A Virus, a poisonous or deleterious substance which may render the article injurious to health.[Adulteration, Section 402(a)(1)] 



The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to Section 801(a)(3) in that it appears have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health. [Adulteration, Section 402(a)(4)]

OASIS charge code – INSANITARY


The article is subject to refusal of admission pursuant to Section 801(a)(1) in that the article appears to have been manufactured, processed, or packed under insanitary conditions. [ADULTERATION, Section 402(a)(4)]

OASIS charge code  MFR INSAN



(16 – – – –) Fishery/Seafood Prod



List of firms and their products subject to Detention without Physical Examination (DWPE) under this Import Alert (a.k.a. Red List)

P.T. Deho Canning Company

Date Published : 12/01/2017

Jl. Raya Madidir , North Sulawesi , Bitung, North Sulawesi INDONESIA

16 A – – 45 Tuna (Albacore, Yellowfin, Bluefin, Skipjack, Etc.)

Date Published: 12/01/2017

Desc:fresh or frozen raw tuna


Date Published : 12/13/2017

LOTS F5-6 Suoi Dau Industrial Zone , Cam Lam, VN-34 VIETNAM

16 A – – 45 Tuna (Albacore, Yellowfin, Bluefin, Skipjack, Etc.)

Date Published: 12/13/2017

Desc:fresh or frozen raw tuna

Source: FDA