On Friday, the Texas Department of State Health and Human Services issued a recall for oysters harvested in the southeastern part of Galveston Bay. The restriction comes after multiple reports of gastrointestinal illnesses from eating gulf oysters from the area.
⚠️NEW: Harris County has instructed all establishments in the County to stop serving oysters from Harvest Area TX-1 after reports of illness from consuming raw oysters from that area. Call your healthcare provider if you're experiencing symptoms after eating oysters.— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) December 10, 2022
Following the recall, Harris County Public Health instructed establishments to halt serving oysters from that Galveston area. DSHS further said that restaurants should contact distributors for the source of their oysters, and any oysters from TX-1 should be disposed of. However, for the consumer, here’s everything you should know about the gulf oyster recall.
Why was a recall issued?
DSHS issued an oyster recall due to multiple reports of stomach issues among people who ate oysters from those waters. According to the report, the oysters have also been tied to at least three cases of norovirus.
What oysters are recalled?
The recall pertains to all gulf oysters harvested in the TX-1 area. The restriction includes oysters shucked and shelled harvested in TX-1 from November 17 through December 7.
Where is TX-1?
TX-1 refers to the southeastern part of Galveston Bay. DSHS closed the area to harvesting on December 8, and there hasn’t been any word on when the restriction will be lifted.
What are the symptoms of the illnesses?
Symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, chills, and headache. Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms after eating oysters should contact their doctor and tell them about the exposure to oysters.
Has anyone been hospitalized?
At this time, there have been no hospitalizations.
What should consumers do?
According to DSHS, anyone who purchased Texas oysters after November 17 should check the packaging to see if the oysters were harvested in TX-1. For unpackaged oysters, check with the seller to find out the source.
What will happen next?
Epidemiologists for DSHS are working with local health departments to investigate cases of stomach sickness. They will also test water samples collected in the recall area to determine when it will be safe to reopen oyster harvesting.
Is any other seafood affected?
No other species have been affected.