For those individuals in Dallas, Houston and elsewhere in Texas who enjoy eating raw seafood such as oysters, the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has a warning for you. Basically, know where you are getting your favorite aphrodisiac from. The FDA is advising that you not eat raw oysters harvested from the southern tip of Hood Canal in Washington State because of a food-borne illness outbreak caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria. This warning follows an earlier outbreak and includes an August 10, 2007 warning about oysters harvested from Hood Canal.
The symptoms of this particular illness — vibriosis — includes watery diarrhea, and most often includes abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. These symptoms often occur within 24 hours of eating the oysters and should not last more than three days. Severe symptoms are rare and happen mostly in people that suffer from a weakened immune system. Individuals in Texas who believe they have experienced these symptoms after consuming raw oysters should talk to their doctors as well as call the local health department.
The oysters harvested from growing area 5 in Hood Canal, from July 31, 2007 through August 20, 2007, have sickened at least six people in Washington State. Records indicate that raw oysters from that area were distributed to California, Colorado, Idaho, New York, Oregon, Utah, Texas, Washington State, and British Columbia (Canada).
The Washington State Department of Health recently shut down the growing area associated with the illness. It has also asked commercial oyster harvesters and dealers who got oysters from this area to insist on a recall.
Individuals who have recently purchased oysters should check with the place of purchase and ask if they were harvested from the affected growing areas. This recall involves both shucked oysters and oyster in the shell, otherwise known as shell stock oysters.
If you have a weakened immune system, which includes individuals stricken with HIV/AIDS, chronic alcohol abuse, liver, stomach, or blood disorders, cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease, you should not eat raw oysters, no matter where they are harvested.
The FDA advises that individuals can continue to enjoy oysters in Texas and others states as long as the oysters are fully cooked. If purchasing, make sure to only select oysters with the shells closed. Shells that do not open during cooking should not be eaten. Also, remember to never let raw seafood come into contact with cooked food.
Watching what you eat, regardless of how great it tastes, can certainly affect your health, and eventually your wallet as well.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com