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Oyster-based tummy troubles spiking in Seattle

Photo: Karen Ducey, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

SEATTLE – And we thought raw oysters were gross on the way in.

The Seattle area is seeing a spike in vibriosis, an affliction associated with consumption of raw oysters that causes … let’s euphemize and say intestinal distress. We’ll get into it more in a bit. Fair warning.

Vibriosis isn’t uncommon during summer months, though this year’s spike has seen about 25 people sickened. Here’s how Public Health – Seattle and King County describes the bacteria’s life cycle:

“The vibrio bacterium is naturally found in salty, brackish waters where oysters are grown. Therefore, while temperature violations before and after delivery to restaurants can contribute to the growth of vibrio, the restaurants are not the direct source of vibrio in oysters.”

The state Health Department tracks the harvest locations of the oysters implicated in these illnesses, and will close oyster beds linked to larger outbreaks.

Suspected vibriosis cases have been reported at Seattle’s Salted Sea restaurant, Wild Salmon Seafood Market and Chinooks at Fisherman’s Terminal, the White Swan Public House in Seattle, Matt’s Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge in Redmond, and Elliott’s Oyster House on the Seattle waterfront. One case has also been tied to oysters purchased at Costco in Redmond.

Public health officials note that oyster eaters can minimize their risk of contracting vibriosis by ensuring that their shellfish is kept colder than 41 degrees. Of course, for sensible cowards, cooking remains an option.

Suspected vibriosis cases have been reported at Seattle’s Salted Sea restaurant, Wild Salmon Seafood Market and Chinooks at Fisherman’s Terminal, the White Swan Public House in Seattle, Matt’s Rotisserie & Oyster Lounge in Redmond, and Elliott’s Oyster House on the Seattle waterfront. One case has also been tied to oysters purchased at Costco in Redmond.

Public health officials note that oyster eaters can minimize their risk of contracting vibriosis by ensuring that their shellfish is kept colder than 41 degrees. Of course, for sensible cowards, cooking remains an option.

The Seattle-PI is a KOMO News partner. Click here to read the original article.

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