A product recall involving oysters in the shell as well as oyster meat has been issued by Oregon Oyster Farms Inc. These oysters were harvested in Yaquina Bay, Newport, Oregon between February 1st and February 24th of this year. The recalled products include all 1 and 1/2 pint containers, half gallon containers and 4 gallon buckets. The recall of oysters in the shell include all extra small, small, medium large and petite Pacific oysters, Yaquina native oysters and Kumamoto oysters. Included in this recall are all shucked product containers containing sell or use by dates of February 15th through March 11th 2010.
Yaquina oysters were distributed to individual restaurants in Boston, Mississippi, New York City, Texas and Virginia. This brand is also distributed through one wholesale account in Oregon as well as a variety of restaurants and retail stores. Yaquina also has two wholesale distribution accounts which are located in Boston and New York. These oysters have so far been distributed in Lincoln, Lane, Linn, Marion and Multnomah counties in Oregon. So far, eight people have become ill after eating the products.
According to Dawn Smith, food safety specialist at the Oregon Department of Agriculture, the eight individuals developed gastro-intestinal symptoms after eating oysters at Lincoln County restaurants or sold at one store in the county. It wasn’t known at the time of the recall how the oysters became contaminated, and according to Smith the contamination could have occurred through employees at the restaurant handling the oysters.
While the source of the recall order was not traced to Oregon Oyster Farms at the time, it was not known where the potential contaminated product was from. Oregon Oyster Farms ceased harvesting or selling oyster products in February upon receiving notice from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Potential norovirus contamination is the reason for the recall. Consumers are urged to discard any Yaquina Bay oysters they may have.
Currently, Oregon Oyster Farms is implementing further precautionary measures to insure that its products are safe for consumption. The company has been in business for 103 years, and bills itself as Oregon’s oldest oyster farm.
While norovirus food poisoning is not life-threatening for most people, it can pose serious complications to the elderly, young children and those with a weakened immune system. These complications may include malnutrition, severe dehydration and even death in certain instances. If you develop symptoms of norovirus, contact your doctor. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and occasional fever.
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