Oyster Recall Issued to Stop Norovirus Outbreak

The FDA and state health officials from Louisiana and Mississippi are recalling some raw oysters in order to stop a food poisoning norovirus outbreak that has sickened nearly a dozen people. 

The oyster recall was announced by the FDA and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on March 27, after reports of illnesses began to surface. The recall was sparked by 11 people falling ill at a conference in Jackson County, Mississippi after eating the raw oysters on March 10. Mississippi health officials confirmed that victims were suffering from norovirus, which can cause gastroenteritis.

The recalled oysters were harvested from Area 7, near Port Sulphur, Louisiana, in the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the Mississippi River. The oysters were harvested between March 6 and March 24 and sold nationwide.

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All shellfish sold to retailers and food service operators should have a tag or label indicating where it was harvested. Consumers who are unsure of where raw oysters they purchased were harvested should contact the place of purchase.

Louisiana health officials have shut down the harvesting area to protect the public and investigate the potential source of contamination that led to the viral outbreak.

Symptoms of gastroenteritis from norovirus in humans can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping and sometimes low-grade fevers, chills, headaches, muscle aches and tiredness. The symptoms hit suddenly, and last for about several days.

Anyone who has eaten raw oysters harvested from Area 7 in the affected time period should contact their state health department and health care professionals.


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