CDC is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Texas Department of State Health Services, along with other state and local officials to investigate a multistate norovirus outbreak linked to raw oysters from harvest area TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas.
Restaurants and food retailers should not serve raw oysters from harvest area TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas, harvested between 11/17/2022 and 12/7/2022, which will be printed on product tags.
The FDA has confirmed that raw oysters harvested in area TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas were potentially contaminated with norovirus and distributed to restaurants and retailers in Alabama (AL), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Louisiana (LA), Mississippi (MS) North Carolina (NC), Tennessee (TN) and Texas (TX). It is possible that additional states received these oysters through further distribution within the U.S.
The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Florida Department of Health notified the FDA of illnesses associated with eating raw oysters harvested from TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas. On December 8, 2022, the Texas Department of State Health Services issued a recall on all oysters harvested between 11/17/2022 and 12/7/2022 from harvest area TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas. FDA Advises Restaurants, Retailers and Consumers to Avoid Potentially Contaminated Oysters from Harvest Area TX 1, Texas | FDA They also informed the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference who notified other member states. This resulted in other states initiating recall measures consistent with the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference agreement.
As of December 15, 2022, 211 norovirus illnesses have been reported from 8 states. CDC is working with state and local partners to determine a more accurate number of illnesses in this outbreak and will update this number as more information is gathered.
Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States. However, state, local, and territorial health departments are not required to report individual cases of norovirus illness to a national surveillance system. That’s why we may not know about many cases, especially if people do not go to a doctor’s office or hospital. Each year, there are about 2,500 reported norovirus outbreaks in the United States. Norovirus outbreaks occur throughout the year but are most common from November to April.
State and local public health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate a day to four days before they got sick. In interviews, many of the sick people reported eating raw oysters.
State and local officials have collected information about the source of oysters from restaurants where sick people ate. FDA has confirmed that potentially contaminated raw oysters were harvested in area TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas. The FDA and the states are conducting a trace forward investigation to determine where the raw oysters were distributed and to ensure they’re removed from the food supply.
This investigation is ongoing. CDC will update the public as more information is gathered.
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