FDA issues warning for some South Korean, Canadian oysters

Oyster Kings oysters.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning regarding frozen oysters linked to illnesses from sapovirus.

The oysters, exported by South Korea-based Dai One Food Co., were distributed to restaurants and retailers in several U.S. states.

Sapovirus causes sporadic gastroenteritis, similar to norovirus, in populations ranging from children to the elderly, the FDA said. The most common symptoms of sapovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Other symptoms include fever, headache, and body ache.

The FDA said there had been two clusters of illnesses from individuals who ate raw oysters at a restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. on 28 October and 5 November, 2022. The agency confirmed one case of sapovirus illness and nine potential cases had emerged as a result of the potential contamination, the FDA said in an alert.

“The FDA is issuing this alert advising consumers to not eat and restaurants and food retailers to not sell oysters harvested on 6 February, 2022, from Designated Area No. II from Dai One Food Co…due to possible sapovirus contamination,” the agency said.

The frozen half-shell oysters were distributed in the U.S. states of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The agency is awaiting information on further interstate distribution of the oysters and will continue to monitor the investigation and provide assistance to state authorities, it said.

Most people infected with sapovirus begin to develop symptoms 12 to 48 hours after infection. Symptoms usually last one to four days, according to the agency.

In October, the FDA issued a separate warning to U.S. restaurants, retailers, and consumers about potential salmonella contamination in some Canadian oysters.

Richibucto-Village, New Brunswick, Canada-based Oyster Kings Inc. recalled several oyster products in late September, due to Canadian Food Inspection Agency test results. At the time, the CFIA said the products were sold in Ontario and Quebec and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories. There were no illnesses reported with the recall.

The FDA said in its alert that the oysters were distributed in the U.S. as well, but the complete distribution list is pending.

“The FDA is issuing this alert to warn consumers not to eat and restaurants and retailers not to sell these brands of oysters, harvested on 8 September, 2022 from New Brunswick, Canada, due to possible Salmonella contamination,” the agency said.

Brand names included in the recall include: Acadian Gold, Acadian Pearl, Baccarat, Capitaine Barney, Coffret De L’Acadie, Honeymoon, No. 69, Nuit Blanche, Opus, and Point G.

The FDA said it notified state contacts and the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) of the brand and harvest date details in late September and put measures in place to monitor future imports.

Photo courtesy of Oyster Kings


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