After being identified as the source of a norovirus outbreak, oysters harvested off the Louisiana coast are being recalled from destinations in Louisiana, Maryland, Texas and Georgia, according to Ken Pastorick, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.
The outbreak has also prompted the temporary closure of the area where the oysters were harvested. “Area 23, one of 28 coastal shellfish harvesting zones in Louisiana, will be closed for at least three weeks,” said Pastorick.
When oysters are harvested, they are put into burlap sacks and marked with a tag that identifies the harvesting area. There are a total of 1,141 sacks of oysters in this recall, 80 of them went to the New Orleans area. Some of those oysters, served at a New Orleans restaurant on April 28 and 29 where, sickened 14 diners, Pastorick said.
LHH is working with the health departments in the other states affected by the recall, said Pastorick. Health officials in Maryland, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana advise anyone who has eaten oysters and develops norovirus symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, to see a health care provider.
Louisiana health officials have set up a hotline. The toll free number is: 1 (800) 256- 2748.