December 17, 2017

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...]

Vibrio Outbreak Associated with Tilapia From Seattle Supermarket

A Vibrio vulnificus infection has been diagnosed in a Seattle man, who cut his hand preparing tilapia that was allegedly purchased live on July 16, 2017 from Seattle Supermarket, according to Seattle - King County Public Health. The man got sick on July 17, 2017 and is still hospitalized. His wife got sick with diarrhea and abdominal cramps, also on July 17, 2017. She was not hospitalized and is recovering. Tilapia fish obtained from Seattle Supermarket tested positive for Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. All epidemiological and laboratory evidence collected so far suggest that tilapia from Seattle Supermarket are a likely source of this outbreak. This is the sec and occurrence of Vibrio vulnificus associated with live tilapia. Seattle Supermarket has a hold placed on the sale of all … [Read more...]

Man Diagnosed with Vibrio After Purchasing Fish from Live Tank

A King County man in Seattle, Washington was diagnosed with a Vibrio vulnificus infection after preparing and eating fish purchased from live fish tanks at a local store. The man had a rare round infection after buying fish at the Seattle Supermarket, at 4801 Beacon Avenue South in Seattle. This bacteria can cause life-threatening illness if ingested, or if it enters a wound on the skin. Health officials are warning anyone who has eaten or prepared fish purchased from that location before July 25, 2017 to watch for symptoms of infection for 7 days. If you bought fish from that store, throw it away. Dr. Jeff Cuhin, Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County said in a statement, "This is the second case of this illness in the past year and both cases came from … [Read more...]

Oyster Vibrio Cases in Washington Increase to 25

The King County Public Health Department has updated their investigation into the vibrio outbreak linked to raw oysters in Washington state. Now as many as 25 people are sick. Those patients ate raw oysters at several restaurants and purchased from several markets. These illnesses were reported to the Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Program. This outbreak may result in closure of certain harvest locations or other enforcement actions after investigation. Environmental Health inspectors conduct investigations at each retail or restaurant location reported in an outbreak. They make sure that the oysters were purchased from approved sources, were held at proper temperatures, at or below 41°F, and handled to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. Bacteria from one … [Read more...]

Vibrio Outbreak at Salted Sea Restaurant in Seattle, WA

A vibrio outbreak at Salted Sea, ate 4915 Rainier Avenue in Seattle Washington has sickened at least three people, according to King County Public Health. Patients got sick after consuming raw oysters at that location. Two people from one dinner party got sick on June 9, 2017. Another person from a separate party got sick after eating raw oysters at that facility on June 17, 2017. Public Health was informed about the outbreak on June 22, 2017. One person has a laboratory confirmed vibrio infection, and two others have the same symptoms. An on-site investigation was conducted at the restaurant by environmental health inspectors. No factors were identified that would have caused the outbreak. Cross-contamination and insufficient refrigerator temperatures could have contributed to … [Read more...]

FDA Will Not Control Vibrio in Shellfish

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has stated that the FDA has denied their petition to control Vibrio in shellfish. Every year, Americans are sickened, and some die, after eating raw shellfish contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus. The FDA could set a performance standard that would control this issue. CSPI petitioned the FDA to use this power in 2012. The government denied the petition, citing "competing priorities." Most people who do contract this infection get sick during the summer months after eating raw oysters from Gulf Coast states. Vibrio infections are, unfortunately, occurring even in northern states as climate change is warming ocean waters. In September 2015, a Vibrio outbreak in Massachusetts closed oyster beds in the area. In August 2015, another Vibrio … [Read more...]

Vibrio Infection Associated with Fish from WA Asian Food Center

A woman from King County in Washington state was diagnosed with a wound caused by the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus on November 10, 2016. She was preparing tilapia fish purchased from the Asian Food Center at 14509 NE 20th Street in Bellevue. The woman, who is in her fifties, allegedly contracted the infection while she was preparing the raw fish. She cut her finger during preparation, which gave the bacteria entry. She was hospitalized and is now recovering at home. Vibrio bacteria live in seawater. This bacteria is very rarely found in the Pacific Northwest, but is more common in areas with warmer seawater, such as the Gulf of Mexico. Public health officials are testing the fish tanks at the Asian Food Center and are also testing samples of fish from that facility to … [Read more...]

Maryland Vibrio Outbreak in 2010 Traced to Asia

A study published in the Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, of the American Society for Microbiology, has discovered that a Vibrio parahaemolyticus outbreak in Maryland in 2010 was caused by raw oysters harvested from the Chesapeake Bay, but the bacteria in those oysters came from Asia. The outbreak sickened two people who ate raw oysters at two different restaurants in Baltimore. Neither patient had graveled outside of the state in the week before they got sick, and neither had other risk factors for Vibrio infections. The outbreak strain of Vibrio, called "sequence type B" was identified because it was the only strain present in both the patients' stools and in the oysters. And that particular strain had previously only been found in Asia. So how did bacteria from a … [Read more...]

Vibrio Outbreak in Florida Highest in Years

The Florida Department of Health is reporting that the number of cases of Vibrio vulnificus in that state is the highest in years to date. The total for 2015 so far is 42 sick, higher than any year since 2008.  In 2013, the yearly total was 41 cases. Even worse, the death toll from that illness is 13 in 2015, the highest since 2011. People in the following counties have died: Brevard (2), Duval (2), Escambia (1), Hillsborough (3), Lake (1), Marion (1), Pinellas (1), Pork (1), and Sarasota (1). Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that lives in salt water. It can get into seafood and contaminate it. It is from the same family as bacteria that cause cholera. Anyone who eats contaminated seafood can become ill. The symptoms of Vibrio food poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, and … [Read more...]

Vibrio Outbreak Closes Massachusetts Oyster Beds

A Massachusetts Vibrio outbreak has prompted the temporary closure of oyster beds in Duxbury Bay, Kingston Bay, Bluefish River, Back River, and Plymouth Harbor. Those beds will be closed until October 8 unless more illnesses are reported. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) announced the closures after six illnesses were reported. That number of illnesses triggers the federally mandated 14-day closure, state health officials said. During the closure, harvesting or possessing oysters from harvest areas CCB-42, CCB-43, CCB-45, CCB-46, and CCB-47 is prohibited. Commercial oyster beds are scheduled to reopen at sunrise on October 8, 2015 if no other illnesses reported. If illnesses are … [Read more...]

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