Saturday, November 14, 2009

Gulf Coast Oysters Safe; For Now...

Food Agency Delays Ban on Oysters After Outcry

In October, a top agency official announced at a hearing of Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference, a quasi-governmental board that oversees the oyster industry that the agency would by 2011 require that all oysters harvested from the Gulf Coast during the warm months be processed to reduce the risk of Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium that each year kills about 15 people who contract the illness in the United States after eating contaminated raw oysters.

Processing includes partial cooking, freezing or other steps that kill the oyster and reduce the risk of bacterial infection. Some oyster harvesters and restaurateurs complained that the steps rendered the oysters unmarketable.

NY Times article

LA Times article

A ban on some raw, untreated oysters? Shucks

"Are you truly going to tell me that I can't have a raw oyster?" the 33-year-old doctor said, with the incredulity of a Frenchman contemplating life without Camembert. "We're going to let the government do that?"


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