FDA Warns Against Consuming San Antonio Bay Oysters

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (UPI) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising people not to eat oysters harvested from San Antonio Bay on or after Nov. 16.

The FDA said it took the action because of reports of norovirus-associated illnesses in some people who eat oysters harvested from that area, which is located on the Gulf of Texas.

Officials from the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas are investigating about a dozen reports of norovirus-related illnesses from South Carolina and North Carolina consumers who ate oysters recently harvested from San Antonio Bay.

“Consumers who purchased oysters on or after Nov. 16 that have a label showing they came from San Antonio Bay are advised to dispose of the oysters and not eat them,” the FDA said. “At restaurants, consumers can ask about the source of oysters offered as menu items.

“Restaurant operators and retailers should not serve or offer for sale oysters subject to this advisory,” the FDA said.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has ordered a recall of all oysters harvested from San Antonio Bay between Nov. 16 and Nov. 25.

The FDA said noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause gastroenteritis, with symptoms that can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping. Affected individuals often experience low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and a general sense of tiredness. Norovirus usually is not life-threatening and does not generally cause long-term effects, officials said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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