50 People Were Sick After Eating Raw BC Oysters & Health Officials Just Issued This Warning

Don't eat these oysters! 🦪

​Oysters on a plate. Right: Grocery store aisle.
Staff Writer

Oysters on a plate. Right: Grocery store aisle.

Health officials in B.C. are warning people about eating raw oysters after 50 people got sick in the last week.

Vancouver Coastal Health warned people to take extra precautions when eating oysters since there have been multiple cases of norovirus reported.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) also issued a warning to retailers and restaurants about the risk of norovirus in some oysters caught in the province.

Norovirus associated with these oysters can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and much more, all occurring roughly 12-48 hours after eating them, health officials add.

According to Vancouver Coastal Health, "lab testing has confirmed the presence of norovirus in some of the cases and it is suspected in others."

The Stellar Bay brand, including Kusshi oysters and Stellar Bay Gold, was harvested in B.C. and sold across Canada. It was contaminated with norovirus, according to a food recall posted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

"Based on an investigation by the BCCDC, local and federal agencies, and the shellfish industry, affected harvest areas are being closed and will reopen when contamination is cleared," Vancouver Coastal Health added.

If you are buying and cooking these oysters yourself, Vancouver Coastal Health officials recommend cooking oysters for at least 90 seconds at a temperature of 90 C to kill germs like norovirus. They also recommend avoiding eating raw oysters.

If you are experiencing symptoms of norovirus after eating raw oysters you are asked to report your illness by calling (604) 675-3800.

Ashley Harris
Staff Writer
Ashley Harris was a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada's Western Desk focused on restaurants in Vancouver, and is based in Vancouver, British Columbia.