Chattanooga oyster bar strikes again

In January, 19 people became ill after eating oysters at The Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Now, the same establishment has been linked to 9 ill persons who ate at the restaurant between March 5th and 8th, reports WTVC-TV.

[The Chattanooga-Hamilton County] Health Department conducted the investigation to determine the cause of the illness… Laboratory testing of ill individuals identified Norovirus as the cause. The establishment fully cooperated with the Health Department’s procedures, including halting service of implicated oysters when notified of the illnesses.

Margaret Zylstra, Epidemiology Manager at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department said,

"Oysters should be cooked thoroughly. Any oyster not thoroughly cooked poses the risk of foodborne illness."

Bacterial and viral pathogens can be carried in oysters, including Vibrio, Hepatitis A and Norovirus. Even in healthy individuals, these pathogens cause illness. These illnesses can be severe, particularly in the elderly or in persons with weakened immune systems. In addition, most of these illnesses can then be spread to other individuals through person to person contact.