11 Norovirus Cases Linked to Frozen South Korean Oysters: San Diego County

11 Norovirus Cases Linked to Frozen South Korean Oysters: San Diego County

Oysters are displayed in Apalachicola, Florida, in a file photo. (Phil Sears/AP Photo)

City News Service

City News Service

4/17/2024

Updated: 4/17/2024

SAN DIEGO—County public health officials have linked 11 confirmed and probable cases of norovirus illness to frozen oysters imported from South Korea, and restaurants and stores are being cautioned April 17 to check their freezers for the origin of their oysters.
Customers who ate the oysters at 100s Seafood Grill Buffet in Mission Valley between March 31 and April 1 became sick, with one person going to the emergency room, a county statement read.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration is now linking the San Diego illnesses to quick-frozen oysters and is cautioning all restaurants and stores that sell frozen, raw half-shell oysters to check their freezers and verify the origin of their oysters.
To identify their origin, look for shellfish tag or label information. Oysters processed by JBR (KR 15 SP) in Tongyeongsi, Republic of Korea on Nov. 27, 2023, Jan. 4, 2024, and Feb. 15, 2024 with lot numbers B231126, B240103 and B240214 should not be consumed. These items may be labeled “Amazing Sea Brand.”
The county is working with the California Department of Public Health to identify other potential retailers in the region.
“If you have consumed these oysters and feel ill, it is important to see your doctor for evaluation,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “If you or someone you live with is sick with norovirus, it is important to wash your hands often and clean common areas to prevent spreading the infection.”
Four months ago, county health officials linked 41 confirmed and probable cases of norovirus to raw oysters imported from a specific harvest location in Northwest Mexico.
People infected with norovirus generally develop nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, and body aches approximately 12 to 48 hours after consuming contaminated foods. The illness typically lasts for one to three days. The vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration requiring medical attention, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.
San Diego County’s Epidemiology Program and Department of Environmental Health and Quality are working with the California Department of Public Health to continue the investigation into illnesses associated with oysters.
To report illness to the county after dining out or purchasing from wholesale food locations call 858-505-6814, or email fhdepi@sdcounty.ca.gov.
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