Martha’s Vineyard oysters could cause foodborne illness

Now that it’s September, it’s unofficially oyster season in New England. Having grown up amongst Greater Boston’s idyllic fishing communities, I’ve abided by the old adage only eat oysters during months that end in ‘ber.’ September is no exception; except for the fact that oyster beds off the coast of Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard have been closed.

Coos Bay Oyster Co.On Wednesday afternoon, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game, Division of Marine Fisheries announced the precautionary closure of the oyster beds in Katama Bay. The two departments determined that a certain environmental condition has become present which can often lead to an infestation of Vibrio parahaemolyticus – a bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness when ingested.