The California Department of Public Health Warns of Possible Norovirus Infections from Imported Raw Mexican Oysters
Date: January 17, 2024
CDPH staff continue to work with multiple Local Health Departments in Southern California regarding norovirus illnesses associated with imported raw Mexican oysters
|WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: CDPH is warning consumers not to eat raw oysters from Laguna De Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico, Laguna Manuela, Baja California, Mexico, and Bahia Salina, Sonora, Mexico because they may be linked to outbreaks of norovirus illnesses in California. These oysters were sold at many restaurants and other retail outlets in Southern California.
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is warning consumers not to eat raw oysters from Laguna De Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico, Laguna Manuela, Baja California, Mexico, and Bahia Salina, Sonora, Mexico because they may be contaminated with norovirus, a virus that can cause serious gastrointestinal illness.
On January 12, 2024, a recall notice of Rocky Point oysters distributed by EMG Industries Inc and harvested in Bahia Salina, Sonora, Mexico was posted. Since then, there have been additional illnesses among California residents who reported consuming oysters that were not part of the recall. To date, these illnesses have been primarily reported among persons consuming oysters from venues throughout Southern California. CDPH staff continue to investigate and share updates with state and federal partners, which may lead to additional oyster recalls.
Restaurants and retailers can protect customers by checking their inventory and shellfish tags, ensuring that potentially contaminated raw oysters are not available for purchase, and discarding any leftover contaminated product. Rocky Point oysters with tags from the following harvest dates and locations have been recalled:
Harvest location: Bahia Salina, Sonora, Mexico
Harvest dates December 18 and 27, 2023
Dealer MX 06 SP, Golpac
US Food and Drug Administration posting regarding this shellfish dealer.
Kumiai oysters with tags from the following harvest locations have not been recalled to date, but are linked to multiple illnesses at this time:
Harvest locations: Laguna Manuela, Baja California, Mexico and Laguna De Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico
Harvest dates: December 15, 2023 to December 29, 2023, wet stored as late as January 6, 2024
Dealer MX 04 SS, Acuacultura Integral de Baja California
Anyone who becomes ill after eating raw oysters should contact their health care provider as well as report their illness to their local health department. Avoid eating raw and undercooked shellfish, including oysters, to reduce your risk of illness, especially if you are susceptible to severe disease or have underlying medical conditions." said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “If you do eat shellfish, cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145°F. Quick steaming isn't sufficient to kill norovirus."
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus and can be spread easily from person-to-person, through contaminated surfaces, and by eating contaminated food, including raw or undercooked oysters. Symptoms of norovirus usually begin 12 to 48 hours after a person has come in contact with the virus and can last for 1 to 3 days. Common symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. People who develop symptoms of norovirus infection should consult their health care providers. For more information on norovirus, please see CDPH's Norovirus webpage.
The most current information on shellfish advisories and quarantines are available at CDPH's toll-free Shellfish Information Line at (800) 553-4133. For additional information, please visit the CDPH Shellfish Advisories Web page.