U.S. and Canadian health officials are currently investigating a multistate norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters.
The investigation, which involves the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and state and local officials, is looking into the distribution of raw oysters into the U.S. from the British Columbia province of Canada. FDA has confirmed that potentially contaminated oysters harvested in parts of BC were distributed to the U.S., specifically California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Washington. Additional states may have received contaminated oysters either directly from British Columbia, or indirectly via supply chain.
While health officials continue their traceback investigation, retailers are urged not to serve raw oysters harvested from the following harvest locations (or landfills) within Baynes Sound, BC: #1402060, #1411206, #1400483, and #278757. Foods contaminated with noroviruses may still look, smell, and taste normal.
Restaurants and retailers should not sell the potentially affected raw oysters. Restaurants and retailers should dispose of any products by throwing them in the garbage or returning to their distributor for destruction. Restaurants and retailers should also be aware that the oysters may be a source of pathogens and should control the potential for cross-contamination of food processing equipment and the food processing environment.
People who think they might have become ill from eating possibly contaminated oysters should talk to their healthcare providers. The FDA encourages consumers with questions about food safety to call 1-888-SAFEFOOD or consult the fda.gov website: http://www.fda.gov.
Sign up for Food Safety Magazine’s bi-weekly emails!
Subscribe to our podcast: Food Safety Matters!