Raw Oysters Trigger Collin Co Death

(McKinney, TX) – A City of Dallas resident died earlier this week after consuming raw oysters at a restaurant in Plano. Oysters can be contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus. This bacterium is naturally present in marine environments and does not alter the appearance, taste, or odor of oysters. Among healthy people, ingestion of V. vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In immunocompromised persons, particularly those with chronic liver disease, V. vulnificus can infect the bloodstream, causing a severe and life-threatening illness characterized by fever and chills, decreased blood pressure (septic shock), and blistering skin lesions.

To prevent V. vulnificus infections, particularly among immunocompromised patients, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the following:

Do not eat raw oysters or other raw shellfish.
Cook shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels) thoroughly.
Avoid cross-contamination of cooked seafood and other foods with raw seafood and juices from raw seafood.
Eat shellfish promptly after cooking and refrigerated leftovers.

The use of antacids in the twenty-four hours preceding oyster consumption has also been linked to an increased risk of oyster-related illness.

State and local food code allow raw oysters to be served to consumers. Food establishments that deliver, serve or prepare shellfish to a consumer for raw consumption shall inform consumers by brochures, deli-case or menu advisories, label statements, table tents, placards, or other effective written means of the significantly increased risk associated with certain, especially vulnerable consumers eating such shellfish in raw or undercooked form. The language in the advisory shall be as follows:

“THERE IS A RISK ASSOCIATED WITH CONSUMING RAW OYSTERS OR ANY RAW ANIMAL PROTEIN. IF YOU HAVE CHRONIC ILLNESS OF THE LIVER, STOMACH, OR BLOOD, OR HAVE IMMUNE DISORDERS, YOU ARE AT GREATEST RISK OF ILLNESS FROM RAW OYSTERS AND SHOULD EAT OYSTERS FULLY COOKED. IF UNSURE OF YOUR RISK, CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN.”
For more information about V. vulnificus infections, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/vibriovulnificus_g.htm.


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