October 13, 2020

FDA Tells Consumers to Avoid Raw Oysters From Baynes Sound, Canada for Possible Norovirus

Canada has had an issue with contaminated oysters for some time. Now the FDA is warning consumers to avoid the potentially contaminated shellfish.The FDA has confirmed that potentially contaminated raw oysters that were harvested in the south and central parts of Baynes Sound, British Columbia, Canada, were distributed to California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington state. These shellfish are linked to a norovirus outbreak in Canada.

FDA Canada Oysters Norovirus

A traceback investigation is being conducted to discover where the shellfish were distributed, and to make sure they are removed from the food supply. Retailers should not sell raw oysters that were harvested within these harvest locations, also called landfills, in Baynes Sound:  #1411206, #1400483, and #278757.

Consumers should know that shellfishcan cause foodborne illness if they are eaten raw. People who have compromised immune systems, the elderly, and young children are particularly at risk. As with most pathogens, norovirus will not change the look, smell, texture, or taste of the oysters or other food.

Norovirus causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Adults are more likely to get diarrhea, and children are more likely to suffer from vomiting. These symptoms usually begin 12 to 48 hours after infection.

Any restaurants that may have received these oysters should control for cross-contamination. That means surfaces must be cleaned and sanitized; bulk product containers should be sanitized, and utensils should be as well.

Consumers should not eat raw oysters from the locations listed. If you have any of these products harvested from the areas of Baynes Sound, discard them in a sealed package. And if any surfaces or utensils in your kitchen have been in contact with these oysters, clean and sanitize them.

If you have eaten these oysters and have been sick, contact your doctor. See your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than three days, or have a high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you can’t keep liquids down.

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