October 23, 2016

Standard Northern Nova Oysters Recall in Halifax, NS

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is currently investigating a company-issued recall by Fisherman’s Market International Inc. of its Standard Northern Nova Oysters, a brand sold for raw consumption. There is a possibility that these products were contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacterium that can occur at high levels in coastal waters during warm summer months. No illnesses have been reported in association with the consumption of this product. Vibrio parahaemolyticus, typically found in raw or undercooked shellfish, can cause non-bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain in susceptible people. The incubation period for the disease is 2-48 hours; if acquired, the illness can last from 2 to 8 days. Those at increased risk of contracting the illness include … [Read more...]

Oregon Norovirus Outbreak Linked to Yaquina Bay Oysters

An Oregon norovirus outbreak that has sickened 17 people has been linked to oysters from Yaquina Bay, according to the Oregon Health Authority. All of those sickened ate the oysters at Lincoln County restaurants between February 12 and February 14. One person was hospitalized, all have recovered.   Tests performed on an unopened jug of oysters collected from a restaurant tested positive for the same strain of norovirus found in stool samples from three of those sickened. A recall has been issued by Oregon Oyster Farms Inc. in  Newport for raw, ready-to-eat shucked oysters sold in half-gallons, one-pint plastic tubs and 10-ounce plastic jars, with sell-by dates of February 19 through March 8. And for oysters sold in mesh bags containing five dozen in-shell oysters with harvest dates … [Read more...]

Washington Shellfish Recalled After Norovirus Outbreak

According to the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC), Washington state has issued a recall of shellfish after a norovirus-like outbreak occurred after an event. The Washington State Department of Health has also issued a notice. At least six people were sickened in this Oregon outbreak; two cases have been confirmed as Norovirus. The event had 100 attendees; about half ate oysters harvested from Hook Canal 5 and Hammersley Inlet in Mason County. Oysters are not definitively linked to the outbreak, since only 10% of the attendees of the event were interviewed, hand-washing facilities were not adequate so an ill employee could have contaminated foods, and the event was crowded so person-to-person transmission could have occurred. But, the Washington State Department of … [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...]

Norovirus Outbreak Linked to Texas Oysters

A norovirus outbreak is linked to oysters from Texas. The FDA is warning consumers not to eat raw or partially cooked oysters harvested from Copano Bay in Aransas County, Texas, that were harvested between December 26, 2013 and January 9, 2014 because they may contain norovirus. The Texas Department of State Health Services closed the Bay to shellfish harvesting on January 9, 2014. Six norovirus illnesses in Louisiana have been linked to oysters harvested from that Bay and shipped by Alby's Seafood of Fulton, Texas. A recall of the oysters harvested on December 26, 2013 has been issued, but other shellfish harvested from Copano Bay before it was closed may still be in the marketplace. All shellfish dealers, restaurants, retail food establishments, and consumers are advised to check … [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...]

Wegmans Recalls Oysters for Possible Vibrio Contamination

Wegmans is recalling Cape Neddick Blue Point oysters, sold individually, because they may be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus. This bacteria can make you sick if the oysters are eaten raw. Only Cape Neddick/Blue Point oysters with these UPC codes are recalled: 2-06146-00000, 2-06152-00000, and 2-06153-00000. The oysters were sold at Eastway, Canandaigua, Lyell Ave, Hornell, Fairmount, Corning, Ithaca, Johnson City, Niagara Falls Blvd, and Jamestown stores in New York; Warrington, Collegeville, Harrisburg, King of Prussia, Erie Peach St., Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, Allentown, Bethlehem, and State College in Pennsylvania; and Dulles, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Lake Manassas, and Leesburg in Virginia. The shellfish was also sold at Hunt Valley, Columbia, Bel Air, Frederick, and … [Read more...]

Denotta Company Recalling All Pacific Oysters for Possible Vibrio

The Denotta Company of Hood Canal, Washington is recalling all Pacific oysters, varying in size from extra small to large, for possible Vibrio Parahaemolyticus contamination. The oysters were distributed nationwide. The harvest dates of the oysters are from July 5, 2013 to July 25, 2013. The states taht received the oysters include Arizona, Oregon, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Tennessee. There are more states involved; the Washington State Department of Health will have more information as more states are contacted. Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacterium in the same family that causes cholera. The bacteria is in coastal waters in the U.S. and … [Read more...]

Texas A&M Researchers Kill Norovirus in Oysters with Electron Beam

Researchers at Texas A&M University have developed a way to pasteurize oysters without chemicals or heat using an electron beam. A study measuring the method’s efficacy on norovirus and hepatitis A appears in the June issue of the scientific journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Hepatitis A is virus that causes a liver disease that can last for weeks or months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain and jaundice. Symptoms usually develop two to six weeks after exposure and can last up to six months. Sometimes called “the stomach flu,” norovirus is an extremely contagious virus responsible for half of all … [Read more...]

OIG Audit Finds Beef Not Adequately Tested for E. coli

The Office of Inspector General of the USDA recently reviewed FSIS testing of boxed beef that is processed into ground beef or mechanically-tenderized steaks to see if the processes are adequate and used effectively to determine the sources of E. coli contamination. They found that FSIS needs to re-evaluate its methodology, since all boxed beef product is not adequately tested. Downstream processors grind boxed beef without sampling it for E. coli. In addition, grocery stores, butcher shops grind their own beef but FSIS does not sample and test trim at these facilities. E. coli 0157:H7, along with six STEC bacteria (Shiga toxin producing E. coli) are considered adulterants in raw beef. The report details twelve recommendations in response to five findings, including planning to modify … [Read more...]

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