Dozens sickened by oysters from California's most esteemed shellfish farm

Mail Online | 1/18/2019 | Mia De Graaf Health Editor For
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Dozens of Californian oyster lovers have fallen sick with diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting after indulging in mollusks from California's top shellfish farm.

Tomales Bay, just north of San Francisco, bills itself as the oldest shellfish farm in the state, providing produce to restaurants across the Bay Area.

Reputation - Week - Reports - People - Ill

But its glowing reputation was tarnished this week by reports of people falling ill after eating their oysters - many at New Year's Eve parties.

At least four diners testing positive for the norovirus.

Farm - Week - Situation - Questions - Safety

Although the farm is set to reopen next week after closing to assess the situation, it has prompted questions over the safety of oysters nowadays.

Warmer waters are more hospitable to dangerous bacteria such as Vibrio vulnificus, which killed a North Dakota lawmaker in November after she ate an infected oyster at a restaurant in New Orleans.

October - Study - Climate - Change - Water

And in October, a new study warned that climate change is pushing more fresh water from rivers into seas and oceans, lowering the saltiness which has long acted as a preservative to protect oysters from Vibrio vulnificus infection.


Humans - Oysters - Thousands - Years

Humans have been eating raw oysters for thousands of years.

One of the first records of the unusual activity was uncovered by researchers in 2007, who found evidence of humans indulging in the slippery mollusks in a South African cave 164,000 years ago. Later, we know that the Romans had a taste for it, farming and importing them from all over the Mediterranean.

Times - East - Coast

But in more recent times they became particularly American - first on the East Coast before shifting elsewhere.

At the turn of the 20th century, the US was farming more oysters than anywhere else in the world (approximately 160 million pounds), according to Paul Greenberg's book American Catch.

New - York - City - Epicenter

New York City, he says, was the epicenter, producing 700...
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