October 27, 2021

Potters Pond Campylobacter Outbreak in Rhode Island Sickens Seven

A Potters Pond Campylobacter outbreak has closed the area, which is used for shellfish harvesting, in Rhode Island after seven people got sick with the bacterial infection, according to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). Potters Pond is located in South Kingston, Rhode Island. The pond is going to remain closed until further notice. An investigation linked the illnesses to shellfish harvested in the area. A shellfish sample collected by RIDOH tested positive for Campylobacter Iari. The shellfish sample doses not match the illnesses from the investigation, however, the positive shellfish sample does indicate the presence of Campylobacter in the pond. More samples are being collected and tested. Two of the … [Read more...]

Washington Vibrio Outbreak Linked to Oysters From Samish Bay

A Washington Vibrio parahaemolyticus outbreak has sickened multiple people, according to the Washington State Department of Health. The outbreak is linked to oysters harvested in Samish Bay. The notice posted in the Shellfish Safety Map alert page says that there are multiple confirmed Vibrio illnesses. That bay is now closed to oyster harvesting. The closure period is for 21 days, but the closure may be extended if environmental test results of thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) and TDH-related hemolysin (TRH) levels are in excess of 10 MPN/gram. The closure notice was posted on July 16, 2021. No one can harvest oysters in that Bay for the next 21 days, or when officials lift the closure. The number of cases "has already surpassed the highest number of cases ever recorded by … [Read more...]

Avoid Making and Serving These Potentially Dangerous Holiday Foods

Every year people are sickened by certain types of foods. Avoid making and serving these potentially dangerous holiday foods this season. Some are inherently dangerous, and others are easily contaminated with dangerous bacteria. The potentially harmful foods include cannibal sandwiches, raw cookie dough, eggnog, unpasteurized cider, and raw oysters. Cannibal sandwiches are sandwiches made with raw ground beef. They are a specialty in some areas of the Midwest United States. In 2013, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Wisconsin was associated with the seasonal consumption of these sandwiches. Raw ground beef is inherently risky, because cows carry pathogenic STEC bacteria in their guts. When the cows are slaughtered, the bacteria are released and can contaminate the beef. When this beef … [Read more...]

Raw Oysters Recalled in Canada For Possible Norovirus Contamination

Several brands of raw oysters have been recalled in Canada for possible norovirus contamination. Norovirus causes gastrointestinal illness that is often called the stomach flu. The first recall, of Union Bay Seafood raw oysters, was triggered by an investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak. Illnesses have been reported in association with the consumption of these oysters. Union Bay Seafood is recalling Pacific Oysters for possible norovirus. The recalled products include Pacific Oysters, Chef Creek Xsm, sold in 5 dozen lots. There is no UPC number on the product. The codes on the recalled oysters are: Harvest location: BC 14-8 Landfile: 1402060 Lot: W20200211 Harvest date: 10 Feb. 2020. Also recalled are Pacific Oysters, Cascade Xsm in 5 dozen lots. The codes on that … [Read more...]

Tomales Bay Oyster Norovirus Outbreak Sickens 44 in California

The California Department of Public Health has closed Tomales Bay to oyster harvesting because a norovirus outbreak that has sickened at least 44 people is associated with oysters from that area. The CDPH posted a recall and listed 40 restaurants that may have sold the Hog Island oysters. The restaurants are located in San Francisco, Sonoma, Petaluma, Bolinas, Sacramento, Sebastopol, Napa, and Santa Rosa. The closure was issued on January 3, 2019, according to Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County's public health officer. The state of California has recalled Tomales Bay oysters that were served in 34 restaurants by Hog Island Oyster Company. The illnesses happened between December 29, 2018 and January 5, 2019. The illnesses were in San Francisco. Public health officials interviewed … [Read more...]

Malpeque Oysters Recalled in Canada for Possible Salmonella

Future Seafoods Inc. is recalling Malpeque Oysters in Canada because they may be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Oyster are particular concern for bacterial contamination because so many people eat them raw. However, no illnesses have been reported to date in association with the consumption of this product.   The recalled product is Future Seafoods Inc. Malpeque Oysters - Common Name Oysters - Std. They are sold in 25 count packages. There is no UPC number. The code on the product is Harvest/process date: 09/10/18 and Harvest location: PE9B. The oysters were sold in Quebec and may have been sold nationally in other provinces in Canada. If you have purchased these oysters, don't eat them, even if you plan to cook them. Some bacteria can produce toxins as they grow that … [Read more...]

Outbreak at Fager’s Island Shell Shocked Oyster Festival in Maryland

According to news reports, officials at the Maryland Department of Public Health are investigating a "stomach flu" outbreak among people who attended the "Shell Shocked" beer and oyster festival on November 4, 2017. That event was held at Fager's Island Restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland. The state health department is working with the Worcester County Health Department on this outbreak. There is no information posted about these illnesses on either government website. According to the Baltimore Sun, the restaurant was allowed to hold a similar event on November 11, 2017. At least 145 people were sickened in this outbreak. What is commonly known as the "stomach flu" is almost always food poisoning. No one has been sick enough to need hospitalization. No deaths are linked to this … [Read more...]

How to Handle, Cook, and Safely Store Shellfish

The Washington State Department of Heath has posted information about how to safely handle, store, and cook shellfish. There have been Vibrio and norovirus outbreaks linked to eating uncooked shellfish, especially oysters, this year. All fresh shellfish should be stored in an open container in the fridge. Put a damp towel on the container to maintain humidity. Do not store shellfish in water, since they will die and may spoil. Shellfish that open and don't close when they are tapped are dead; do not cook or eat them. If the shells of horse clams, soft-shell clams, geoducks, and razor clams don't completely close, you can store them for three of four days. Shellfish that close their shells completely can be stored up to seven days. That includes oysters, littlenecks, butter clams, … [Read more...]

Oysters and Vibriosis

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing information about the risk of contracting a Vibrio infection when consuming raw oysters. Summer is prime oyster season. And it's the time of year when most illnesses from raw oysters occur. In fact, a man in Washington state recently contracted a Vibrio infection when he purchased a live fish from a fish tank. One of the most common illnesses linked to raw oysters is vibriosis. This infection is caused by the Vibrio vulnificus or the Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria that occur naturally in seawater. Oysters are filter eaters, which means they draw in seawater and filter out the food and bacteria. The bacteria then become concentrated in the oysters flesh. Most Vibrio infections are caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus. … [Read more...]

Another Food Poisoning Outbreak at Seattle Restaurant

Another food poisoning outbreak associated with the consumption of raw oysters has sickened people in Seattle, Washington. This time it's at the White Swan Public House at 1001 Fairview Avenue North.   Six people from two separate parties got sick after eating raw oysters at the restaurant on June 30 and July 3, 2017. No laboratory testing has been done, and symptoms suggest fibrosis, but public health officials cannot rule out norovirus. Officials learned about the outbreak on July 6, 2017. Environmental health inspectors were at the restaurant on the same day. The press release states that, "No factors were identified that contribute to the spread of Vibrio, such as insufficient refrigeration temperatures or evidence of cross-contamination." Just like the outbreak at the … [Read more...]

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