August 17, 2019

Shigella, Vibrio, E. coli Outbreak Linked to Raw Oysters Ends With 16 Sick

The Shigella, Vibrio, and E. coli outbreak that is linked to raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon estuary in Baja California Sur, Mexico, has ended after sickening 16 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Two people were hospitalized because they were so sick. The case count by state is: Alaska (1), California (12), Illinois (1), New Hampshire (1), and Nevada (1). Illness onset dates ranged from December 16, 2018 through April 17, 2019. The patient age range was from 26 to 80 years. State public health officials found more illnesses among people who also ate raw oysters from the same harvest area. The FDA investigated a subset of the illnesses investigated by the CDC. Those five patients were sickened with Shigella … [Read more...]

Raw Oysters Sold by DiCarlo Seafood Linked to Outbreak Recalled

Raw oysters that are linked to a multistate, multi pathogen food poisoning outbreak have been recalled, according to the California Department of Public Health. The recalling firm is DiCarlo Seafood of Wilmington, California. At least 16 people who live in 5 states are sick in this outbreak. The pathogens involved are Shigella, Vibrio, E. coli, Campylobacter, and norovirus. Some of the patients are sick with more than one pathogen. Two people have been hospitalized because their illness is so severe. The patients live in Alaska, California, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Nevada. The DiCarlo Seafood imported raw oysters were harvested from Estero El Cardon in Baja California Sur, Mexico. They were sold at restaurants in California. We know they were sold at Fish Market Restaurant at … [Read more...]

Oysters From Mexico Linked to Multistate Shigella Vibrio Outbreak

Oysters from Mexico are linked to a multistate Shigella, Vibrio, E. coli, Campylobacter, and norovirus outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some patients were sickened with more than one pathogen. This outbreak was reported by the California Department of Public Health on May 7, 2019; all of the patients at that time lived in California. Now 16 people from five states are ill in this outbreak. Two people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. No deaths have been reported. One recall, by DiCarlo Seafood in Wilmington, California, has been issued. The case count by state is: Alaska (1), California (12), Illinois (1), New Hampshire (1), and Nevada (1). Illness onset dates range from December 16, 2018 to April 4, 2019. The patient age … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Climate Change Increasing Vibrio Infections

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that climate change is increasing the incidence of Vibrio infections in the United States. Long term ecological data analysis has found that climate change is affecting marine animal, plant, and fungi populations. Marine prokaryotes (single celled organisms), the largest living biomass in the world's oceans, play a fundamental role in maintaining life on the planet. Evidence has been found that, for the first time, provides a link between climate variability in the North Atlantic and the presence and spread of marine Vibrios, one of the ocean's prokaryotes. Several species of Vibrio bacteria are responsible for infections in animals and humans. Humans acquire Vibrio infections by eating raw or … [Read more...]

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