FDA warns against eating or selling certain oysters because of infections

The FDA has warned about certain oysters harvested in Canada and sold in the United States because two people have become infected with Campylobacter jejuni.

On Dec. 18, the Utah Shellfish Authority notified the Food and Drug Administration of two cases of Campylobacter connected to consumption of oysters from British Columbia, Canada. The FDA has notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) of the illnesses, and the CFIA is investigating.  The two patients consumed oysters in Utah and Wisconsin, and the FDA is coordinating with the CFIA and state authorities to determine if any additional distribution occurred.

The FDA is awaiting further information from the CFIA on the distribution of the oysters and will continue to monitor the investigation and help state authorities as needed.

The FDA is advising restaurants and food retailers not to serve or sell and to dispose of oysters and consumers not to eat oysters from Pacific Oyster Fanny Bay, harvested on Nov. 8 from harvest area BC 14- 8 with Landfile # 1402294 and Oyster Malaspina Live, harvested on Nov. 9 from harvest area BC 14-8 with Landfile # 278761 and shipped to distributors in Utah and Wisconsin.

Oysters contaminated with Campylobacter jejuni can cause illness if eaten raw and potentially life-threatening illness in people with compromised immune systems. Food containing Campylobacter jejuni may look, smell, and taste normal. Consumers of these products experiencing symptoms of illness should contact their healthcare provider and report their symptoms to their local Health Department.

People with Campylobacter infection usually have diarrhea (often bloody), fever, and stomach cramps. Nausea and vomiting may accompany the diarrhea. These symptoms usually start 2 to 5 days after the person ingests Campylobacter and last about one week.

Sometimes, Campylobacter infections cause complications, such as irritable bowel syndrome, temporary paralysis, and arthritis.

In people with weakened immune systems, such as those with a blood disorder, with AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy, Campylobacter occasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a life-threatening infection.

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