Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No On Oyster Safety

Just in case you are a raw oyster lover you might want to read Marion's entire post over at Food Politics:

On November 13, the FDA announced indefinite postponement of rules requiring raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico to undergo postharvest processing to destroy their content of Vibrio vulnificus, a particularly nasty “flesh-eating” bacterium. According to accounts in the New York Times and in industry newsletters, the FDA caved under pressure from the oyster industry and members of Congress representing oyster-harvesting regions in the Gulf.
The thing is that you can eat raw oysters that come from cold waters pretty safely. You shouldn't eat oysters from warm waters like the Gulf of Mexico unless they have been treated postharvest. There are several methods that yield non toxic oysters available, it's just that the industry doesn't want to invest in them and would rather see the 15 or so people who die each year from Vibrio vulnificus to just keep on dying. Simple economics!

As a consumer you should know the risks and then make your own decisions about eating raw Gulf oysters. BTW it is a pretty nasty infection though the infection is considered 'low mortality'. There is also no known effective treatment.

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