Deliver Your News to the World

FDA Expands Warning on Eating Raw Oysters from Hood Canal in Washington State


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat raw oysters harvested from an additional part (growing area 5) of the southern tip of Hood Canal in Washington state due to a foodborne illness outbreak caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria. This follows an earlier outbreak and August 10 warning about oysters harvested from growing area 6 of Hood Canal.

Symptoms of the illness, vibriosis, include watery diarrhea, often with abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. Usually these symptoms occur within 24 hours of ingestion and last no more than three days. Severe disease is rare and occurs most commonly in people with weakened immune systems. Those who believe they have experienced these symptoms after consuming raw oysters should consult their health care provider and contact their local health department.

Raw oysters harvested from growing area 5 in Hood Canal from July 31 through August 20, 2007 have caused at least six people to become ill in Washington state. To date, records indicate that raw oysters from the area were distributed to Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington state, British Columbia (Canada). Bali (Indonesia), Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand.

The Washington State Department of Health has closed the growing area associated with the illness and has asked commercial oyster harvesters and dealers who obtained oysters from this area to recall them.

Consumers who have recently purchased oysters should check with the place of purchase and ask if they were harvested from the affected growing areas. The recall involves both shucked oysters and oyster in the shell (shell stock oysters).

Those with weakened immune systems, including people affected by HIV/AIDS, chronic alcohol abuse, liver, stomach, or blood disorders, cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease, should avoid eating raw oysters, regardless of where they are harvested.

FDA advises that consumers can continue to enjoy oysters in many cooked preparations by doing the following:

At Restaurants and other Foodservice Establishments:

Order oysters fully cooked.
In the Shell:

Purchase oysters with the shells closed
Throw away any oysters with shells already opened.
Never allow raw seafood to come into contact with cooked food.
Boil or steam the oysters:
Boil oysters until the shells open. Once shells open, boil for an additional three to five minutes.
To steam—add oysters to water that is already steaming and cook live oysters until the shells open, once open steam for another four to nine minutes.
Use smaller pots to boil or steam oysters. Using larger pots, or cooking too many oysters at one time,
Discard any oysters that do not open during cooking.
Shucked Oysters:

Never allow raw seafood to come into contact with cooked food.
Cook the oysters in one of the following ways:
Boil or simmer shucked oysters for at least three minutes or until the edges curl. \
Fry at 375° F for at least three minutes.
Broil three inches from heat for three minutes.
Bake at 450° F for 10 minutes.


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.