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Food Safety News

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Korean Oysters Linked to Norovirus in Washington State

Consumers throughout the west should avoid ASSI brand frozen oysters from Korea, which have been linked to an outbreak of norovirus in Washington State, the Food and Drug Administration said.

An FDA warning, released at the close of business Friday, advised consumers not to eat frozen, shucked oysters packed in three-pound bags and labeled ASSI brand “INDIVIDUALLY QUICK FROZEN OYSTER” and a “Better if used by” date in 2013.  The company said the oysters were shipped to western states, including California, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Utah and Texas.

Washington state health officials identified three people who were sickened after eating oysters at a restaurant in King County, home county to Seattle. The restaurant was not identified.

None of the  three people was hospitalized. Norovirus usually begins suddenly and causes one or two days of vomiting and diarrhea, but rarely requires hospitalization.

The FDA said the oysters originated in Korea and were shucked and frozen. Each bag identifies Central Fisheries Co. Ltd. as the packer and Korean Farms of Santa Fe Springs, CA, as the distributor.

Korean Farms has agreed to recall the suspect oysters.

© Food Safety News
  • Consumers should be aware that “Quick Frozen” products are not automatically free of viruses because of the freezing process. This is a common misconception.