The Texas Department of State Health Services has ordered a recall of all oysters harvested in the TX 1 area of southeastern Galveston Bay after reports of a few dozen cases of gastrointestinal illness among people who ate oysters from those waters. The recall includes oysters in the shell and shucked oysters harvested in the area from Nov. 17 through Dec. 7.
Consumers who purchased Texas oysters since Nov. 17 should check the packaging to see if they were harvested in TX 1. If the oysters were unpackaged, they should contact the seller to find the source. Restaurants should contact their distributor for information on the source of their oysters. Any oysters from TX 1 should be discarded.
DSHS closed the TX 1 area to harvesting on Dec. 8 after receiving reports from health departments in Southeast Texas and Florida that people who had consumed oysters from the area had gotten sick. Reported symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, chills and headache. People experiencing any of these symptoms after eating oysters should contact their health care provider and tell them about the exposure to oysters. No hospitalizations have been reported at this time.
DSHS epidemiologists are working with local health departments to investigate cases of illness, and DSHS will test water samples collected in the recall area to determine when it may safely reopen to oyster harvesting. No other species of seafood is affected.