The quasi-daily probe E1: The okra of the sea

My friend Mike Batz of University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogen Institute and I were chatting a while back and thought it would be cool to connect for short podcasts when there was something fun going on. Here’s the first episode (and maybe the last) in it’s raw, unedited, short format.Daily-probe

Today we talked about oysters, raw and steamed, Vibrio, norovirus, burden and risk-based messaging.

The article that prompted the probe was from Lifezette where oysters are referred to as those scary shellfish.

Heads up, raw oyster lovers. New research from China shows the bivalves not only transmit human norovirus, they also serve as a reservoir for the harmful and highly contagious virus.

In an expansive study published recently in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology, scientists discovered that more than 80 percent of the known noroviruses matched those found in oysters.

Even common recommendations for reducing the risks of illness, such as avoiding them from warm-water sources, aren’t a guarantee you won’t get sick, food safety expert Ben Chapman told LifeZette.

“Considering where they’re from, and not eating them at a certain time of year, may reduce the risk, though risk is always there,” said Chapman, a researcher at North Carolina State University. Chapman also notes that cooking oysters may lower risk, but that steaming — a popular way to prepare them — isn’t likely to get them above 140 degrees.

Listen to the episode here.

This entry was posted in Norovirus, Probe Podcast and tagged , , , by Ben Chapman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is an associate professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.