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Oyster Bay Shellfish Harvest Suspended After 8 Fall Ill

Shellfish harvesting in areas in Oyster Bay, New York has been suspended after 8 people who ate shellfish from that area were sickened with Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections.

Approximately 1,980 acres on the north shore of Oyster Bay have been closed until environmental samples reveal that the danger of Vibrio contamination has passed, announced the New York Department of Environmental Conservation Friday.

The New York State Department of Health reported that 3 residents of Nassau County – where Oyster Bay is located – and 5 people from 3 other states became ill after eating raw or partially cooked shellfish from Oyster Bay Harbor.

Laboratory analysis has confirmed that the infections were caused by the Vibrio bacteria, a naturally-occuring organism that thrives in warm marine water environments.

Symptoms of Vibrio infection usually occur around 24 hours after ingesting the bacteria, and include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. Symptoms usually resolve within a week. Illness may be more severe in those with compromised immune symptoms or preexisting chronic diseases.

Health officials advise that consumers who purchased shellfish with tags indicating Oyster Bay Harbor as the harvest area should not eat the shellfish.

Shellfish harvesters, shippers, distributors, processors, restaurants and retailers are advised to check tags on all shellfish containers and to discard shellfish harvested from Oyster Bay Harbor with a harvest date before July 13, 2012.

Wholesale shellfish dealers should check sales records to see whether they have sold any shellfish from Oyster Bay Harbor harvested between June 1 and July 12, 2012, and contact any consumers who may have purchased these shellfish immediately to advise them not to sell or serve them.

Any business possessing shellfish harvested from Oyster Bay Harbor are urged to call New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation’s shellfisheries inspection program at 631-444-0494.

Updated information about shellfish closures is available on a recorded message from DEC at 631-444-0480.

© Food Safety News
  • Janet Sklar

    I’ve posted this before, but people should not eat raw seafood during months that don’t have an “r”: May, June, July and August. It may be an old wives’ tale, but I’ve spent my whole life living in seaside communities hearing and reading stories like the one posted here today.

  • Contrary to the opening sentence of the article, not all shellfishing areas in Oyster Bay (at Town) in New York are closed to shellfishing, only Oyster Bay Harbor is closed. Granted, later in the article it identifies Oyster Bay Harbor as the closed area. It is very important to make the distinction between the Harbor and nearby Oyster Bay, which was not closed and South Oyster Bay which is on the south side of the Town of Oyster Bay and is also not closed. The opening sentence should have been more precise.
    W. Hastback
    NYSDEC – Shellfisheries Section Head

  • The opening sentence reporting that shellfish harvesting was closed in “areas in Oyster Bay, NY” was meant to convey that the closure did not apply to the whole Oyster Bay harvesting region. The intention of the article was to relay the information provided in NYSDEC’s press release (“http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/83487.html), which states: “The harvesting of shellfish from particular areas in the Town of Oyster Bay is temporarily prohibited.” We apologize if our sentence did not relate that message clearly.

  • The opening sentence reporting that shellfish harvesting was closed in “areas in Oyster Bay, NY” was meant to convey that the closure did not apply to the whole Oyster Bay harvesting region. The intention of the article was to relay the information provided in NYSDEC’s press release (“http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/83487.html), which states: “The harvesting of shellfish from particular areas in the Town of Oyster Bay is temporarily prohibited.” We apologize if our sentence did not relate that message clearly.