Food Safety Alert for Gastrointestinal Illnesses Linked to Raw Oysters
For Immediate Release: Friday, May 10, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
CDC has posted a food safety alert about a multistate outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses linked to raw oysters imported from Mexico at https://www.cdc.gov/vibrio/investigations/rawoysters-05-19/index.html.
- CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses linked to raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon, an estuary in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
- On May 6, 2019, one U.S. distributor of oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon issued a voluntary recall.
- On May 7, 2019, Estero El Cardon was closed to further oyster harvesting pending investigation.
- Sixteen ill people were reported from five states (Alaska, California, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Nevada).
- Two of the people were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
- Illnesses started from December 16, 2018, to April 4, 2019.
- People were infected with one or more of the following pathogens: Vibrio, Shigella, Campylobacter, norovirus, and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli non-O157. Common symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever.
- Symptoms typically start one to four days after the pathogen is consumed and last for up to a week. Most people recover without treatment.
- You may be more likely to develop a more serious illness if you have certain medical conditions, such as liver disease or weakened immune systems.
- An outbreak of multiple pathogens can occur when a common food source becomes contaminated with multiple bacteria and viruses at once. The investigation into why multiple pathogens are causing illness in this outbreak is ongoing.
- CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.
Advice to Consumers:
- Do not eat, serve, or sell oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon, an estuary in Baja California Sur, Mexico.
- In general, CDC advises against eating raw or undercooked oysters or other shellfish.
- Any raw oysters, not just the raw oysters linked to this outbreak, could contain harmful germs that could make you sick. Cook them thoroughly before eating.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling raw shellfish.
- More advice on handling and cooking oysters can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/vibrio/prevention.html#cooking
- Talk to your doctor if you think you became sick after eating raw or undercooked oysters.
If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.