- Restaurants and food retailers that have received shipments of wild harvest oysters from harvest area FL-3012, Cedar Key, Florida, harvested between December 16, 2022, and February 24, 2023.
- Consumers who have recently purchased oysters from area FL-3012 sold in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
- Wild harvest oysters from FL-3012, Cedar Key, Florida, harvested between December 16, 2022, and February 24, 2023. The oysters were distributed to restaurants and retailers in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia It is possible that additional states received these oysters through further distribution.
- Packaged oysters include harvest area information on the packaging.
The FDA is advising consumers not to eat, and restaurants and food retailers not to sell, and to dispose of recalled wild harvest oysters from FL-3012, Cedar Key, Florida, harvested between December 16, 2022, and February 24, 2023, due to possible Salmonella contamination. These oysters were sold in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Consumers who purchased oysters after December 16, 2022, should check the packaging to see if they were wild harvest oysters from FL-3012, Cedar Key, Florida. Contaminated oysters can cause illness if eaten raw, particularly in people with compromised immune systems. Food contaminated with Salmonella may look, smell, and taste normal. Consumers of these products who are experiencing symptoms of salmonellosis should contact their healthcare provider, who should report their symptoms to their local Health Department.
Summary of Problem and Scope
The Florida Department of Health and the state health departments of Georgia and Alabama have detected a Salmonella outbreak associated with the consumption of raw oysters harvested from shellfish harvesting area FL-3012 in Cedar Key, Florida. To date, there have been 8 cases linked to this outbreak within Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. On February 24, 2023, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued an emergency closure order for wild harvest oysters from harvest area FL-3012 and initiated a recall of wild harvest oysters from harvest area FL-3012 in Cedar Key that were harvested from December 16, 2022, to February 24, 2023. On February 24, the State of Florida also notified the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference of the closure and recall. Florida Department of Health posted an advisory bulletin on February 28. 2023.
The FDA is issuing this alert advising consumers not to eat, and restaurants and food retailers not to sell, recalled wild harvest oysters from FL-3012, Cedar Key, Florida, harvested between December 16, and February 24, 2023, due to possible Salmonella contamination. The FDA will assist with and coordinate interstate notification efforts as necessary pending receipt of shellfish distribution information.
Symptoms of Salmonellosis
Most people infected with Salmonella will begin to develop symptoms 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness, salmonellosis, usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover without treatment.
Most people with salmonellosis develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. More severe cases of salmonellosis may include a high fever, aches, headaches, lethargy, a rash, blood in the urine or stool, and in some cases may become fatal. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that approximately 450 persons in the United States die each year from acute salmonellosis.
Due to the range in severity of illness, people should consult their healthcare provider if they suspect that they have developed symptoms that resemble a Salmonella infection.
Recommendations for Restaurants and Retailers
Restaurants and retailers should not sell the potentially contaminated oysters. Restaurants and retailers should dispose of any potentially contaminated products by throwing them in the garbage or returning to their distributor for destruction.
Restaurants and retailers should also be aware that oysters and other filter-feeding bivalve molluscan shellfish may be a source of pathogens and should control the potential for cross-contamination of food processing equipment and the food processing environment. They should follow the steps below:
- Wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
- Retailers, restaurants, and other food service operators who have processed and packaged any potentially contaminated products need to be concerned about cross-contamination of cutting surfaces and utensils through contact with the potentially contaminated products.
- Retailers that have sold bulk product should clean and sanitize the containers used to hold the product.
- Regular frequent cleaning and sanitizing of food contact surfaces and utensils used in food preparation may help to minimize the likelihood of cross-contamination.
- What is Salmonella?
- Raw Oyster Myths
- Handwashing: A Healthy Habit in the Kitchen | Handwashing | CDC
Consumers who have symptoms should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.
To report a complaint or adverse event (illness or serious allergic reaction), you can
- Call an FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator if you wish to speak directly to a person about your problem.
- Complete an electronic Voluntary MedWatch form online.
- Complete a paper Voluntary MedWatch form that can be mailed to FDA.