The Hawaii State Department of Health is recalling frozen, raw oysters imported from Korea because they are associated with a norovirus outbreak. The oysters were sold in bulk to distributors and food establishments in the state.
Peter Oshiro said in a statement, “the department has already conducted product trace-backs and embargoed all of the suspect product on November 24, 2015 at various local shellfish distributors and restaurants. Although this product is not sold directly to the public, a recall has been issued as an additional safeguard to further notify anyone who may possess the product that it is unsafe and should be destroyed.”
A product embargo prohibits businesses from using or selling a product suspected of causing illness. At least 11 people have been sickened with norovirus in Hawaii in September, October, and November 2015. Those illnesses are allegedly linked to the consumption of raw oysters. Samples of the oysters in question were sent to the FDA for testing and tested positive for norovirus.
Norovirus symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, diarrhea, and headaches. Symptoms usually begin 12 to 48 hours after exposure to the virus.
If you purchased these oysters, do not eat them. Throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.