July 31, 2015

Florida Warns Shellfish Lovers About Vibrio Outbreak

Vibrio Outbreak

The Florida Department of Health is warning shellfish lovers and beachgoers about a  Vibrio outbreak in that state. Vibrio is a flesh-eating bacteria that has infected seven people so far. Two people have died of their infections. People can develop this infection when they eat raw shellfish or if they swim in contaminated seawater with open wounds. The symptoms of a Vibrio infection include abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. A vibrio infection of the skin leads to ulcers and skin breakdown. Anyone with a weakened immune system can have serious complications with this type of infection. If the bacteria gets into the bloodstream, fever, chills, septic shock, and death can occur. There were only 32 cases of Vibrio reported in Florida all of last year. Most infections occur between … [Read more...]

18 Secret Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013

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Did you hear about the six-state tilapia outbreak that sickened 33 people in 2013? Me either. A new CDC report about 2013 food poisoning outbreaks reveals 18 multistate outbreaks that were never made public. Five of them had fatalities. Of the 818 food posioning outbreaks that year, 26 included multiple states but only seven of those were made public in 2013. (Another outbreak on the list was announced in 2014.) The CDC defines an outbreak as two or more illnesses caused by the same source. The 18 never-before-announced outbreaks sickened 420, people, 85 hospitalizations and five fatalities. The food sources included: cucumbers, pistachios, tomatoes, lettuce, leafy greens, salmon, oysters, clams, papaya, sugarcane, cheese, pork, infused rice products and tilapia. They were … [Read more...]

Shellfishing Stopped in New York After Vibrio Outbreak

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has temporarily closed shellfishing areas in the Town of Huntington in Suffolk County after reports of foodborne illness. Lab tests have found that a "number of illnesses" were caused by the bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which is naturally occurring. The ban is effective starting Friday, September 5, 2014. This precautionary measure is being taken to protect public health until investigators decide if the shellfish are safe to eat. There is no word on how many people have been sickened. The ban on oyster harvesting affects about 4,400 acres, including all of Centerport Harbor, Duck Island Harbor, Northport Bay, Lloyd Harbor and a portion of Huntington Bay. The ban on hard clams affects 2,300 acres and includes all of … [Read more...]

Vibrio in Florida: 16 Illnesses, 3 Deaths

At least 16 people in Florida have been diagnosed with Vibrio infections this year, three of them have died. State health officials are warning people to take precautions that can prevent illness. Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium found in warm salt water. People can get Vibrio infections two ways: eating raw shellfish or swimming in the ocean with open wounds. Vibrio infections in open wounds can cause the skin to breakdown and form ulcers that have difficulty healing.Some wounds may require surgery or lead to amputation.   Foodborne Vibrio infections cause symptoms such as fever, chills, decreased blood pressure and blistering skin lesions.  In some cases, where the infection moves form the intestines to the bloodstream the infection can be fatal. Foodborne vibrio … [Read more...]

Wegmans Recalls Oysters for Possible Vibrio Contamination

Wegmans has posted a recall for Kumamoto Oysters because they may be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This naturally-occurring bacteria can cause foodborne illness if the oysters are eaten raw. There is no word on whether or not any illnesses have been reported. The recall is for Albion Fisheries Ltd. harvested Kumamoto Oysters, sold individually at certain stores. Only those oysters with UPC number 21657100000, sold from July 17, 2014 through July 31, 2014 are recalled. The oysters were sold only at the Wegmans stores in Bridgewater, Manalapan, and Mt. Laurel in New Jersey; Pittsford in New York, and Montgomeryville and King of Prussia in Pennsylvania. If you purchased this product, do not eat it. Discard in a double bagged container or return to the place of purchase for … [Read more...]

Samish Bay WA Oyster Beds Closed After Vibrio Illness

The Washington State Department of Health has confirmed that oysters from Samish Bay is the source of at least one Vibrio illness, commercial harvesting has been ended until September 30, 2014. Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacteria that causes gastrointestinal illness in people. There have been nine reports of Vibrio illness this summer in Washington state. The latest confirmed illness is linked to a commercial, not recreational, harvest. There is no word on which specific commercial grower the contaminated shellfish came from. Low tides, hot weather, and sunshine increase the bacteria's population in the summer. Anyone who harvests oysters in that area should cook them to be safe. Vibrio are killed by cooking temperatures. In fact, the government suggests that all shellfish … [Read more...]

Largest Multi-State Food Poisoning Outbreaks of 2013: #5

A Vibrio outbreak associated with raw shellfish that sickened at least 104 people in 13 states was the fifth-largest outbreak of 2013. The outbreak, which began in May and lasted through September, hospitalized six people. Public health investigators interviewed 82 of the people who got sick and gathered their food histories. Seventy five of them, or 91 percent, reported eating raw oysters or raw clams in the week before illness began. The age range for those who became ill was 22 years to 85 years old with a median of 51 years old. About 62 percent of the patients were male. The states where illnesses were reported were: California, Nebraska, Minnesota, Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, New York Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. Shellfish harvest … [Read more...]

Vibrio: Remember Vulnerable Guests When Serving Oysters

Oysters are on a lot of holiday menus. But if your're thinking of serving them raw, be aware that oysters contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus can cause life-threatening illness or fatality for people with certain medical conditions, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Those who should never consume raw oysters include pregnant women and people with cancer, diabetes, stomach disorders, compromised immune systems, liver disease from hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcoholism and iron overload disease.  Those who consume two to three drinks daily should also avoid consumption of raw oysters. What's the danger? Vibrio vulnificus infections for high-risk individuals have a 50 percent fatality rate, often within 48 hours. Symptoms of an infection usually develop within 24 to 48 … [Read more...]

Outbreak: Vibrio From Raw Oysters, Clams Sickens 104 in 13 States

A Vibrio outbreak associated with eating raw oysters and raw clams has sickened at least 104 people in 13 states over the last six months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Six people have been hospitalized. Public health investigators have traced the source of some of these illnesses to shellfish harvest areas in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Virginia. Massachusetts issued a recall of oysters,  Connecticut issued a recall of oysters and clams. Implicated harvest areas in Virginia were closed in July and remain closed.  In Massachusetts, they were closed in August and remain closed. In New York they were closed in June and reopened in mid-September. In Connecticut, they were closed in August and reopened in mid-September. Reports of … [Read more...]

Massachusetts Closes Waters to Oyster Harvesting After Vibrio Outbreak

The state of Massachusetts has closed Duxbury, Plymouth, Marshfield, and Kingston Bay Complex to commercial oyster harvesting because of an outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This is the first time those waters have been closed, despite a two-year effort of government and industry to implement safeguards against that bacteria. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is currently investigating an outbreak of more than 40 people sickened by Vibrio this summer. Some of those illnesses have been definitively attributed to cultured oysters from that specific growing area. There is no wild harvest on those waters. All oysters harvested from this area that are in commerce are being recalled. The closure is in effect from August 30, 2013 until further notice. The symptoms of a … [Read more...]

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