The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommended to consumers avoid eating raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon in Baja California Sur, Mexico, due to they are linked to an outbreak in California, where 12 people have reported illnesses after consuming raw oysters in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, and San Diego Counties.
Restaurants and retailers can protect customers by checking their inventory and shellfish tags that are required to identify the source to avoid any raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon in Baja California Sur, Mexico. CDPH advises consumers to ask the retailer or restaurant about the source if the product is not labeled or identified.
According to the lab tests performed so far, multiple pathogens were identified: Vibrio parahaemolyticus (3), Vibrio albensis (1), Vibrio species unidentified (1), Shigella flexneri serotype 1 (2), and norovirus (1). One of the Vibrio parahaemolyticus cases was co-infected with non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli.
CDPH share some tips to prepare/consume oysters:
- Avoid eating raw and undercooked shellfish, including oysters, to reduce the risk of illness.
- If you do eat shellfish, cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145°F. A quick steaming isn't sufficient to prevent gastrointestinal illness from these pathogens.
You can check the full outbreak notice in the CDPH website