California Department of Public Health (CDPH) director Dr. Ron Chapman today warned consumers not to eat shucked and in-shell raw oysters from Drakes Bay Oyster Company because they may be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacterium that can cause serious illness.
To date, three illnesses in California have been linked to the products. Drakes Bay Oyster Company, an Inverness, California oyster grower has initiated a voluntarily recall of the affected shucked and in-shell raw oyster products. The shucked oysters are packaged under the Drakes Bay Oyster Farm label and sold in 9 ounce, 1-pint, 1-quart and half-gallon jars or tubs. The affected shucked products are labeled with lot numbers 363 through 421. The lot number can be found on the top label of each jar or tub. The in-shell raw oysters are sold individually or in bags ranging in size from 1 dozen to 10 dozen. In-shell raw oyster tags are marked with harvest dates ranging from July 17, 2012, through August 8, 2012.
A complete list of the recalled products and photos of the shellfish tag and shucked oyster jar or tub labeling can be found at the CDPH website. CDPH advises consumers who purchased the affected oyster products to throw them away immediately.
Symptoms of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection include vomiting, abdominal cramps, watery diarrhea, headache, fever, and chills. Most infected people recover without treatment in a few days. Severe illness and death from Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection is rare, but can occur with chronic liver disease, cancer, or other conditions that weaken the immune system.