Sat, Jul 21, 2012 - Page 5 News List

FDA orders S Korean oysters destroyed

Staff writer, with CNA

A batch of raw oysters imported from South Korea will be destroyed after some samples tested positive for microorganism contamination, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said.

A total of 7,204 boxes containing 155,682 raw oysters that were seized by health authorities following reports of food poisoning in May will be destroyed, the FDA said in a statement.

“The decision to destroy the oysters was based on scientific grounds,” FDA food division chief Tsai Shu-chen (蔡淑貞) said.

In May, there were a number of reports of people experiencing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains and diarrhea after eating shellfish at Eatogether restaurants, a high-end nationwide restaurant chain.

Tests linked the food poisoning cases to consumption of raw oysters from South Korea, Tsai said, adding that of 29 oyster samples taken from the restaurants, four contained high counts of Bacillus cereus and three showed traces of norovirus and astrovirus.

The US Food and Drug Administration has also suggested that South Korean shellfish may have been exposed to human fecal waste and may be contaminated with norovirus, Tsai added.

“We currently don’t have a ban on oyster imports,” she said. “But importers are required to submit their products for tests at border control.”

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