Florida Vibrio vulnificus cases reach 30, Canadian growers upset with ban

As the number of Vibrio cases in Florida hit 30, and 81 in western Canada in a separate outbreak, producers of shellfish in B.C. say they cutting jobs because of a month-long raw oyster ban in Vancouver.

BC.oystersRoberta Stevenson, executive director of the B.C. Shellfish Growers Association says producers are testing the oysters and they meet health requirements, so the ban should be lifted.

“They are tested five times more than they used to be with the new Health Canada guidelines that are more stringent. So we are 100 per cent confident that before those oysters leave that processing plant they are completely safe to eat,” she said.

Local oysters are being sold to customers in the rest of Canada and to the U.S., Stevenson said, so she doesn’t understand why Vancouver Coastal Health isn’t lifting the ban.

If you’re so confident in your data, make it pubic and market food safety at retail.

“We will lift the order when public health officials in B.C. are satisfied that oyster conditions in coastal waters are not at a level to be a food safety concern,” said Vancouver Coastal Health in a statement.