Trade instructed to suspend importing and selling of ready to eat raw oysters harvested in Samish Bay in US
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (July 23) instructed the trade to suspend the import of ready to eat raw oysters harvested in Samish Bay of the United States (US). The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately should they possess it.
A spokesman for the CFS said, "The CFS noticed that the Washington State Department of Health reported that ready to eat raw oysters harvested in Samish Bay of the US, which were suspected to be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus, were under recall. Upon learning of the incident, the CFS immediately contacted local major importers for follow-up. A preliminary investigation found that the importer, Asia-Taylor (A&T) Finefoods Limited, had imported some of the affected product which was on sale in its retail outlet. For the sake of prudence, the CFS has immediately instructed the trade to suspend the import into and sale within Hong Kong of all ready to eat raw oysters harvested in the abovementioned area in the US, and instructed the importer to stop sale and remove from shelves the affected product."
The CFS is also tracing the distribution of the product concerned. The trade should also stop using or selling the product concerned immediately should they possess it.
The spokesman pointed out that as oysters feed by filtering a large volume of seawater, pathogens (such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus) can accumulate in them if they are grown in or harvested from contaminated water. Raw or partially cooked oysters are high risk foods. Susceptible groups, such as pregnant women, young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems or liver diseases, should avoid eating them.
The CFS will inform the US authorities and will also notify the local trade. It will continue to follow up on the incident and take appropriate action to safeguard food safety and public health. An investigation is ongoing.
Ends/Friday, July 23, 2021