The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning restaurants and food retailers in California that have recently purchased oysters from Sociedad Acuicola GolPac (MX 06 SP) harvested from Bahia Salina, Sonora, Mexico on 12/18/2023 or 12/27/2023.

The FDA alert is also for consumers in California who have recently consumed oysters in San Diego or Los Angeles County restaurants sourced from Sociedad Acuicola GolPac (MX 06 SP) harvested from Bahia Salina, Sonora, Mexico on 12/18/2023 or 12/27/2023.

The FDA is advising restaurants and food retailers not to serve or sell and to dispose of oysters and consumers not to eat oysters from Sociedad Acuicola GolPac (MX 06 SP) harvested from Bahia Salina, Sonora, Mexico on 12/18/2023 or 12/27/2023 because they may be contaminated with norovirus.

Oysters contaminated with norovirus can cause illness if eaten raw, and potentially severe illness in people with compromised immune systems. Food containing norovirus may look, smell, and taste normal. Consumers of these products experiencing symptoms of illness should contact their healthcare provider and report their symptoms to their local Health Department. Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever may be associated with gastroenteritis infections caused by this organism.

People of all ages can get infected and sick with norovirus. The most common symptoms of norovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Other symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches.

A person usually develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after exposure to norovirus. 

Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days.

If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill and vomit or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses. Symptoms of dehydration include decreased urination, dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up. Dehydrated children may cry with few or no tears and be unusually sleepy or fussy.

Anyone who becomes severely dehydrated should call a healthcare provider.

The California Department of Public Health on Jan 10 notified the FDA of an outbreak of Norovirus in San Diego County that has been linked to the consumption of oysters traced back to a specific harvest location in Mexico. 

An investigation is ongoing, and the number of illnesses is being tracked. Mexican Shellfish Authorities have investigated the source of the illnesses and closed the Bahia Salina growing area to harvest on 1/12/2024.


Restaurants and retailers should also be aware that shellfish may be a source of pathogens and should control the potential for cross-contamination of food processing equipment and the food processing environment. They should follow the steps below:

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
  • Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators who have processed and packaged potentially contaminated products need to be concerned about cross-contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with the potentially contaminated products.
  • Retailers that have sold bulk products should clean and sanitize the containers used to hold the product.
  • Regularly cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces and utensils used in food preparation may help minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.

Consumers should not eat the potentially contaminated oysters. Consumers should contact their healthcare provider to report their symptoms and receive care.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)