Food safety alert for gastrointestinal illnesses linked to raw oysters

May 14, 2019

CDC and public health and regulatory officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of gastrointestinal illnesses linked to raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon, an estuary in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

On May 6, 2019, one U.S. distributor of oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon issued a voluntary recall. On May 7, 2019, Estero El Cardon was closed to further oyster harvesting pending investigation. Sixteen ill people were reported from five states (Alaska, California, Illinois, New Hampshire, and Nevada). Two of the people were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses started from December 16, 2018, to April 4, 2019. People were infected with one or more of the following pathogens: Vibrio, Shigella, Campylobacter, norovirus, and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli non-O157. Common symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Symptoms typically start one to four days after the pathogen is consumed and last for up to a week. Most people recover without treatment. You may be more likely to develop a more serious illness if you have certain medical conditions, such as liver disease or weakened immune systems.

An outbreak of multiple pathogens can occur when a common food source becomes contaminated with multiple bacteria and viruses at once. The investigation into why multiple pathogens are causing illness in this outbreak is ongoing.

CDC has more information