Norovirus outbreak prompts recall of specific oysters sold in B.C. and Alberta

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      A recall of specific B.C. oysters distributed and sold in British Columbia and Alberta has been initiated for health reasons.

      On February 22, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that Sawmill Bay Shellfish Co. has launched a recall of certain Sawmill Bay Shellfish brand Pacific Aquacultured Oysters due to norovirus, after a CFIA investigation into a reported foodborne illness outbreak.

      Sawmill Bay Shellfish Co. is a family-run business based in Heriot Bay, B.C.

      The affected products were sold either by the dozen (with codes “Lots: 453 and 454”), which were sold to hotels, restaurants, and institutions, or by variable count sold from February 12 to 19 (inclusive) at Codfather's Seafood Market in Kelowna.

      Anyone who has these oysters should not consume them while distributors, retailers and food-service establishments should not sell or use the specified products. The recalled products should either be returned to the place of purchase or disposed of.

      Anyone who becomes sick after consuming this product should contact a doctor.

      The norovirus illness often begins suddenly within 24 to 48 hours (sometimes as early as 12 hours after exposure) and main symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, and fatigue or tiredness.

      Most people recover within one or two days, with symptoms resolving on their own, and experience no long-term health effects.

      More information about norovirus is available at the Health Canada website.