Canadian health types are now investigating 67 Canadian cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections in British Columbia and Alberta linked to raw shellfish. The majority of the illnesses have been linked to the eating of raw oysters.
In Canada, a total of 67 cases have been reported in British Columbia (48) and Alberta (19). One case has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals became sick between June 1 and August 7, 2015 and all reported consumption of raw shellfish, primarily oysters. The investigation is ongoing to determine the source and distribution of these products.
The following safe food practices will reduce your risk of getting sick from Vibrio and other foodborne illnesses.
-Do not eat raw shellfish.
-Cook shellfish thoroughly before eating, especially oysters. Shellfish should be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 74°C (165°F).
-Discard any shellfish that do not open when cooked.
-Eat shellfish right away after cooking and refrigerate leftovers.
-Always keep raw and cooked shellfish separate.
-Avoid eating oysters, or other seafood, when taking antacids as reduced stomach acid may favour the survival and growth of Vibrio species.
-Always wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap after using the bathroom.
-Avoid exposing open wounds or broken skin to warm salt or brackish water, or to raw shellfish. Wear protective clothing (like gloves) when handling raw shellfish.
-Wash your hands well with soap before handling any food. Be sure to wash your hands, cutting boards, counters, knives and other utensils after preparing raw foods.