The Texas Department of State Health Services has ordered a recall of oysters harvested in the southeastern Galveston Bay.
The recall includes oysters in the shell and shucked oysters harvested in the TX 1 area of southeastern Galveston Bay from November 17 through December 7. A map of Galveston Bay oyster areas is available here.
The Louisiana Department of Health has been made aware of 19 individuals who reported gastrointestinal illness following the consumption of raw oysters at Louisiana restaurants. In 10 of these 19 cases, the oysters consumed were harvested from the TX 1 area. Investigations for the remaining 9 cases are ongoing.
There are not currently any cases of vibrio vulnificus, a potentially deadly bacteria found in warm, brackish and saltwater coastal areas, and in shellfish, in the summer months.
The Office of Public Health (OPH) Sanitarian Services has been providing guidance to restaurant owners during inspections about the recalled oysters. Anyone currently experiencing an oyster-related illness should seek medical attention. To report an oyster-related illness to OPH, please contact a Public Health Inspector.
There have currently been no cases linked to oysters harvested in Louisiana waters, and at this time, there is no elevated concern with oysters harvested from Louisiana.
There may be a risk associated with consuming raw shellfish as is the case with other raw protein products. If you are pregnant, suffer from chronic illness of the liver, stomach or blood or have other immune disorders, you should eat these products fully cooked.
Consumers who purchased Texas oysters since November 17 should check the packaging to see if they were harvested in TX 1. If the oysters were unpackaged, they should contact the seller to find the source. Restaurants should contact their distributor for information on the source of their oysters. Any oysters from TX 1 should be discarded.
Texas Department of State Health Services has reported "a few dozen" cases of gastrointestinal illness linked to the recalled oysters.
More information about the Texas recall can be found here.