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Dozens sick after eating raw oysters; Hog Island Oysters subject to recall

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This story by Coral Beach first appeared in Food Safety News and is reposted here with permission

California officials have closed some commercial shellfish farming areas while they investigate an outbreak of norovirus that has sickened at least 44 people who reported eating raw oysters from Hog Island Oysters.

The company agreed to recall its “Sweetwater” and “Atlantic” oysters from a total of more than 40 restaurants and retailers in California, according to a notice posted by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The company did not appear to have any information about the recall or illnesses on its website as of last night. 

A spokesperson for the CDPH told Food Safety News that the source of the highly contagious norovirus had not been determined as of yesterday afternoon. It has, however, been confirmed that norovirus is responsible for the illnesses, as opposed to other foodborne pathogens. 

Marin County Environmental Health Services notified the state health department on Jan. 3 about reports of illnesses associated with the oysters. State investigators began looking for the cause and by 2:30 that afternoon they had closed all commercial shellfish growing areas in Tomales Bay.

“On Jan. 4, implicated product and future product distribution were determined and samples collected. The firm initiated a recall of the oysters and notified CDPH of that on Saturday, Jan. 5. CDPH started web posting on Monday, Jan. 7,” according to a department statement provided to Food Safety News.

State officials are aware of 44 people who ate Hog Island Oysters before becoming ill. None of those people have been admitted to hospitals. The sick people reported symptoms consistent with norovirus infection, which are primarily intense diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Raw oysters are well-documented as a source of norovirus infections.

Infected foodservice workers can easily contaminate foods, utensils and dishes, kitchen surfaces and equipment. However, norovirus is known to survive in fresh and saltwater fish and shellfish. It has been found in species from farms and in the wild.

State officials will not allow commercial harvesting in the growing areas of Tomales Bay until further notice. Investigators continue to collect and review data. The state is working with local jurisdictions on the investigation.

A number of consumers have posted online reports about becoming sick after eating raw oysters from Hog Island Oysters on New Year’s Eve and in the first couple of days of January. Those reports include at least 29 being tracked by the website iwaspoisoned.com, according to Patrick Quade.

Quade, iwaspoisoned.com founder, said Monday there are reports of people becoming ill after eating raw oysters that were listed as being from Hog Island Oysters on menus at a restaurant in Grand Central Station in New York City. Those illnesses coincide with the timing of the California illnesses.

The list of restaurants and retailers in California where the suspect oysters were recalled is good information for consumers, but Quade said he doesn’t understand why there aren’t laws to compel food companies to post recall and outbreak information on their own websites.

“We do not know why some food companies do not post their recall notices on their website and social media channels. It is clearly the responsible thing to do, especially when lives are at stake. It reflects very badly on those companies who act in this way,” Quade said.

California officials said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was notified of the outbreak on Jan. 4. The agency was notified of the recall on Jan. 8. As of Jan. 15, the FDA had not posted the company’s recall notice.

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Recalls and Alerts: January 11 – 13, 2019

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Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

If you would like to receive automatic email alerts for all new articles posted on eFoodAlert, please submit your request using the sidebar link.

United States

Allergy Alert: The Protein Company, LLC recalls certain “San Diego Protein Company” brand protein frosted doughnuts due to undeclared wheat and milk. The recalled products were distributed in San Diego, CA and over the Internet.

Food Safety Recall: Hog Island Oyster Company, Inc. recalls Hog Island Sweetwaters oysters (Lots W82A,W82B,W84, W85, W86, W87, W88) and Hog Island Atlantics oysters (Lot #W83)  due to potential health risk (reports of gastrointestinal illnesses received). The recalled oysters were distributed to restaurants and retail locations in California.

Canada

Allergy Alert: Industry recalls certain Ottogi brand noodle products due to undeclared egg. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products, which were sold to consumers in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Possibly National, Quebec, Saskatchewan.

Europe

Allergy Alert (Belgium): Natur’Inov recalls Natur’Inov brand Amandes grillées tamari (150g; Lot #0018132; Best before 13/12/19) due to undeclared peanuts.

Allergy Alert (Denmark): Lidl Danmark recalls Belbake gluten-free oatmeal (500 g; Best before 22.10.2019) due to undeclared gluten.

Allergy Alert (Germany): Gunz Warenhandels GmbH recalls Citrilemon Lemon Juice Concentrate (200 mL; Expiry date 07/14/2020) due to undeclared sulfites.

Allergy Alert (Germany): dennree GmbH recalls certain dennree Vegetable broths due to undeclared celery. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall (Germany): Sanleaf Europe GmbH recalls Wild Growth Moringa Capsules (90 capsules/bottle; Batch MPK 012018; Expiry 01/2020) due to Salmonella contamination.

Recalls and Alerts: January 7 – 10, 2019

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Here is today’s list of food safety recalls, product withdrawals, allergy alerts and miscellaneous compliance issues. The live links will take you directly to the official recall notices and company news releases that contain detailed information for each recall and alert.

If you would like to receive automatic email alerts for all new articles posted on eFoodAlert, please submit your request using the sidebar link.

United States

Allergy Alert: Apollo Food International Inc. recalls Mini Roll Food Treats (2.469 oz; Production date 2018.05.07; UPC 6 946050 104548) due to undeclared egg.

Allergy Alert: Shamrock Farms recalls Shamrock Farms 2% Reduced Fat Vanilla Milk (64 oz; Best by 3/16/2019; UPC 28300-01228) due to undeclared almonds.

Food Safety Recall: J. H. Routh Packing Co. recalls approximately 1,719 pounds of raw pork sausage products due to potential foreign matter (rubber) contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products, which were shipped to retail locations in Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Food Safety Recall: Grand Strand Sandwich recalls Lunch Box Italian Subs (7 oz; Julian date 35218; UPC 0 67068 12222 8), Lunch Box Ham & Swiss Croissants (5 oz; Julian date 34618; UPC 0 67068 21217 2) and Lunch Box Ham & Cheese Frozen Wedges (4.5 oz; Julian date 34618; UPC 0 67068 12110 8) due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The recalled products were packaged in clear plastic and sold primarily in convenience stores and vending machines located in the States of: North Carolina and South Carolina.

Canada

Food Safety Recall: La Petite boîte à lunch recalls various soups processed in glass Mason jars, because the products may be unsafe to eat. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall: Alpagas Portneuf recalls various sausage products due to foreign matter (metal and glass pieces) contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products.

Food Safety Recall: Bimbo Canada recalls various brands of bread products due to foreign matter (pieces of glass) contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products, which were distributed in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Food Safety Recall: E.D. Smith Foods Ltd. recalls Culinary Treasures brand Chipotle Aioli (750 mL; various Best before dates and UPCs) due to spoilage. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected products, which were distributed to retailers in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

Food Safety Recall: MAITRE Saladier Inc. recalls various products due to foreign matter (pieces of metal) contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for detailed information on the affected products, which were sold in Giant Tiger stores

Europe

Allergy Alert (Belgium): Albert Heijn recalls AH brand Surimi Crab Salad (60g; Lot #1182112; Best before 26/01/2019) due to undeclared crustaceans, soy and milk.

Allergy Alert (Denmark): Coop Danmark A/S recalls Coop C-salat Pasta Salad with smoked salmon and dressing (450g; Use by 09.01.2019, 11.01.2019, 12.01.2019, 13.01.2019, 14.01.2019) due to undeclared eggs.

Allergy Alert (Iceland): MS Akureyri recalls MS brand Garlic Cheese – Spice Cheese (150g; Best before June 5 and 8, 2019) due to undeclared celery, wheat and soy.

Allergy Alert (Ireland): Belfield recalls Ice King Strawberry Cones (660 mL; Best before date 01/11/2020; batch 8-143) due to undeclared peanut.

Allergy Alert (Luxembourg): Monoprix recalls Monoprix P’tit Prix brand Green Olives (200g; Lot #8302; Best before 30/09/2021) due to undeclared sulfites.

Allergy Alert (Netherlands): Albert Heijn recalls  AH brand Surimi Crab Salad (60g; Lot #1182112; Best before 26/01/2019) due to undeclared crustaceans, soy and milk.

Allergy Alert (UK): Belfield recalls Ice King Strawberry Cones (660 mL; Best before date November 2020; batch 8-143) due to undeclared peanut.

Food Safety Recall (Belgium): R. Van Hove NV recalls Jürgen Langbein brand Beef Stock (500 mL jar; Lot # L.0369; Expiration 12/03/2021) due to foreign matter (glass pieces) contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Denmark): Slagter Norlyk ApS recalls Minced pork (750g; Best before 13-01-2019) due to foreign matter (blue plastic pieces) contamination.

Food Safety Recall (Denmark): Reitan Distribution A/S recalls Rema 1000 Party Sausages (500g; Best before 16-01-2019) due to foreign matter (metal splinters) contamination.

Food Safety Recall (France): La Maison Filliere recalls Charcuterie des Papes brand Saucisson apéro en barquette (Lot #54834905528992; Best before 26/02/2019) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

Food Safety Recall (France): La société TLC recalls TLC brand Cornet de jambon macédoine x 2 (Lot #19003; Best before 13/01/2019) due to Listeria contamination.

Food Safety Recall (France): EARL La Guillaumière recalls La Guillaumière brand Jambons, saucissons à l’ail, rillettes, pâtés due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for additional product details.

Food Safety Recall (France): La Société MARINE HARVEST recalls Carrefour brand Scottish Smoked Salmon – 4 slices (140g; various lot codes and best before dates) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected lot codes.

Food Safety Recall (France): La Société MARINE HARVEST recalls Kristen brand Scottish Smoked Salmon – 8 slices (220g; various lot codes) due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Please refer to the recall notice for a complete list of affected lot codes.

Food Safety Recall (UK): Yorkshire Provender recalls Moroccan Vegetable Tagine Soup (600g; Use by 15 October 2019) due to an incorrect ‘Use by’ date.

Australia and New Zealand

Food Safety Recall (New Zealand): Pak’n Save Cameron Road recalls Pak’n Save Cameron Road brand NZ Premium Beef Mince (All sizes; Best before 08.01.19) due to foreign matter (small black plastic pieces) contamination.