Avoid These Raw Canadian Oysters, FDA Says

Raw Oyster Lovers: I’m afraid we have bad news. You know that little voice in the back of your head that whispers, “Let’s hope that eating this probably still living sea creature that spent its life filtering dirty ocean water doesn’t make me terminally ill” every time you swallow it. ? Well, you can start listening to it for now – at least when it comes to oysters caught in certain parts of British Columbia.

According to a food safety advisory issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), potentially contaminated oysters, which can cause norovirus and other gastrointestinal illnesses, have been common in 13 states. Here’s what to know and what not to.

How many people got sick?

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is continuing its food safety investigation into the outbreak of norovirus and gastrointestinal illness associated with eating raw oysters from British Columbia, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada . As of March 30, 2022, there are 279 reported cases in Canada. It is currently unclear how many cases of gastrointestinal illness caused by these oysters have been reported in the US.

Which oysters pose a safety risk?

Potentially contaminated raw oysters were collected from south and central Baines Sound, British Columbia, Canada and distributed to restaurants and businesses in California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada. , New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington State, according to the FDA .

The agency and the states concerned conducted an investigation to determine where the raw oysters were distributed and to ensure that they were removed from the food supply. But if you bought raw oysters from the grocery store or market, you should check them out.

The oysters in question were harvested from areas BC 14-8 and BC 14-15 in British Columbia as early as January 31, 2022. This information is printed on food labels, so read them carefully before eating any oysters, especially since the food is contaminated. with norovirus may look, smell and taste normal.

If you have potentially infected oysters, discard them immediately . The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t provided any refund information for these oysters, so you might want to hang up a product tag and take it to the retailer you made your purchase from to see if there’s anything that they can offer.

And if you think you’re sick after eating oysters, it’s best to discuss it with your doctor. Symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, fever, headache and body aches, and it can be especially dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, the FDA notes .

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