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FDA issues warning regarding oysters imported from Korea associated with norovirus outbreak

The FDA has issued a warning advising consumers to avoid certain raw, frozen oysters from Korea due to a norovirus outbreak. Prompted by a report from the California Department of Health on April 9, the FDA released the advisory on April 16.

The implicated fresh frozen half-shell oysters, processed by JBR (KR 15 SP) in Tongyeongsi, Republic of Korea, on Nov. 27, 2023, Jan. 4, 2024, and Feb. 15, 2024, have a long shelf life when kept frozen. On April 15, Korean authorities instructed the processing firm to recall the affected lots due to possible norovirus contamination. These oysters were distributed in California and may have been further distributed.

The FDA emphasizes that norovirus-contaminated shellfish, like oysters, can cause illness, particularly in those with weakened immune systems. Restaurants and retailers must be vigilant about preventing cross-contamination by following strict sanitation practices for equipment and surfaces used in food preparation and packaging.