FDA issues warning about Texas oysters connected to norovirus outbreak

Published on
December 16, 2022
Raw oysters on the half shell with lime

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising food retailers and restaurants to discard oysters from harvest area TX 1 in Galveston Bay, Texas, U.S.A. due to a norovirus outbreak.

The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Florida Department of Health notified the FDA of illnesses associated with consuming raw oysters from the TX 1 area, FDA said in a press release.

Oysters from the harvest area, which has been closed since 8 December, were sold in the U.S. states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

On 8 December, 2022, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued a recall order for all oysters harvested between 17 November and 7 December, 2022, after determining there was an epidemiological association between a gastrointestinal illness outbreak and oyster consumption.

The authority began an investigation of the outbreak to determine whether the illness was growing-area related or was the result of post harvest contamination or mishandling.

“We have determined that this outbreak is growing-area related," the Texas agency in a statement issued via the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference.

Other states also initiated recall procedures consistent with the agreement, and are continuing to conduct trace forward investigations, the FDA said.

“Consumers who purchased oysters after 17 November should check the packaging to see if they were harvested in TX 1. Contaminated oysters can cause illness if eaten raw, particularly in people with compromised immune systems,” FDA said.

Photo courtesy of Pascal Vosicki/Shutterstock 

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