September 23, 2018

Learn About Raw Oysters and Vibriosis

Raw oysters are usually consumed in the summer months. But that particular type of seafood is linked to a disease called vibriosis that can make you very sick. Vibrio bacteria grow naturally in salt water. The three main strains of disease-causing vibrio bacteria are Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio vulnificus, and Vibrio alginolyticus. About 80,000 people are sickened by vibrio bacteria every year, and 100 people die. Most of these infections occur during the summer months when the water is warmer. But global warming is increasing the growth of this pathogen and others, as the ocean waters warm. That is one reason why we are seeing vibrio outbreaks in Canadian oysters. It's important to know that, as with other pathogenic bacteria, vibrio does not change the taste, texture, smell, … [Read more...]

FDA Tells Consumers to Avoid Raw Oysters From Canada for Potential Norovirus

Consumers are advised to avoid eating raw oysters from British Columbia. The FDA posted a notice stating that they and the CDC, along with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and state partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of norovirus illnesses that are linked to oysters. There is no word yet on how many people may have been sickened in this outbreak, but California has announced that there are at least 100 people sick in that state. The FDA has confirmed that potentially contaminated raw oysters that were harvested in the south and central parts of Baynes Sound in British Columbia were distributed to Alaska, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Washington state. Other states may have also received these oysters either … [Read more...]

About 100 Norovirus Cases in California From Raw British Columbia Oysters

About 100 people are sick in a norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters from south and central Baynes Sound in British Columbia, Canada as of April 27, 2018. The California Department of Pubic Health (CDPH) is warning consumers to avoid that shellfish. Those sickened ate the oysters at restaurants and purchased them at retailers throughout the state. There are ill persons in California and in Canada. Canada has reported 172 sick in this outbreak. Laboratory testing has confirmed these illnesses. The number of new patients decreased this week, but the investigation is ongoing. Four oysters farms in the south and central Baynes Sound area of British Columbia are linked to the outbreak. Those farms were closed between March 23 and April 13, 2018, and remain closed at this time. All … [Read more...]

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. 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 … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak Associated with Raw Oysters in British Columbia

A norovirus outbreak that is associated with raw oysters has been reported in British Columbia, according to the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). Officials are warning consumers to avoid eating raw oysters to stop this outbreak. Norovirus is a highly contagious disease that causes symptoms of food poisoning. Since early March 2018, about 40 cases have been reported to public health authorities. All of those sickened said they ate raw oysters from British Columbia before they got sick. Lab testing has confirmed that the pathogen responsible for some of those cases is norovirus. In order to kill this virus and other pathogens, the BCCDC recommends that consumers cook oysters thoroughly, to an internal temperature of 90°C (194°F) for 90 seconds. Two oyster … [Read more...]

Climate Change Increasing the Contamination of Vibrio Bacteria in Oysters

Climate change is increasing the number of pathogens in oysters, according to a study published in the National Academy of Sciences. The bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus and vulnificus occur naturally in the ocean. Their numbers increase when the water temperatures increase. And oysters, since they are filter feeders, take up these bacteria. When the oysters are eaten raw, people get sick. There have been been many harvesting warnings and recalls of oysters for these pathogenic bacteria in the past few years. And in 2013, there was a Vibrio outbreak associated with raw oysters that sickened at least 104 people in 13 states. Most of these illnesses occur during May to October in the United States, when people eat raw oysters. The bacteria reproduce quickly when the water is … [Read more...]

Why Undercooked Oysters Can Make You Sick

Public Health-King County is telling consumers why raw oysters can make you sick. Jenny Lloyd, one of the epidemiologists who has been investigating foodborne illness outbreaks linked to oysters in that state, answered some questions. The current outbreaks in Seattle have been caused by Vibrio bacteria. That bacteria lives in marine waters. Their numbers increase during the warm summer months, which explains the current crop of outbreaks. Since oysters are filter feeders, the bacteria concentrate in their flesh. Eating raw or undercooked shellfish, especially oysters, is the main risk for contracting this illness. Most seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F. Fish should be opaque and separate easily when tested with a fork. Clams, mussels, and oysters should … [Read more...]

Oysters Recalled in Washington After Norovirus Outbreak

The Washington State Department of Health is recalling oysters and closing harvest areas after a norovirus outbreak. Over the past few weeks reports of illness in people who have eaten raw oysters from several areas in the state have been received. Small harvest closures and recalls have been ordered over the past few weeks. The largest closed area is in Hammersley Inlet in Mason County. In that area, a recall has been issued for any shellfish harvested there since March 15, 2017. The three-mile stretch of commercial shellfish growing beds is harvested by 31 shellfish companies and is shipped to many areas around the word. The Department of Health is working with shellfish growers, officials in other states, and local health department to trace all of the product and recall it to … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak in Washington Associated with Raw Oysters

Public health officials in Seattle and King County are investigating multiple reports of a norovirus-like illness in people who ate raw oysters. Since January, officials have received reports that as many as 39 people were sickened after eating that shellfish. Illnesses have been reported during the time period ranging from January 10 through March 20, 2017. Public health has reported the illnesses to the Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Program, which tracks the reports and harvest locations of the oysters implicated in this outbreak. The oysters were all harvested from different growing areas and bays in Washington state with the exception of four meals. Those four meals, which account for 22 of the illnesses, were made of oysters harvested from a small bay in the … [Read more...]

Norovirus Outbreak in Canada Linked to Raw and Undercooked Oysters

The Public Health Agency of Canada is investigating an outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses linked to raw and undercooked oysters. The illnesses have occurred in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Testing of several cases, but not all, has confirmed norovirus. Officials think that norovirus is the cause of illness in the untested cases. The outbreak notice states "the risk to Canadians is low." This type of illness can be avoided if oysters are cooked to an internal temperature of 90°C/194°F for a minimum of 90 seconds, and proper hand washing and food safety practices are followed. As of February 7, 2017, 202 clinical cases of illness linked to oysters have been reported in three provinces. The case count per province is: British Columbia (143), Alberta (35), and Ontario … [Read more...]

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