The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Texas Department of State Health Services, and other public health partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of norovirus illnesses linked to raw oysters from Texas.
Illnesses: 211 illnesses* have been reported as of December 15, 2022.
States affected: Alabama (AL), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Louisiana (LA), Mississippi (MS) North Carolina (NC), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX)
Investigation Status: Active
*This number is an estimate based on the information we have at this time. CDC is working with state and local partners and will update this number as more information is gathered.
If eaten raw, oysters and other filter-feeding shellfish can contain viruses and bacteria that can cause illness or death. Anyone who consumes raw shellfish is at risk of contracting norovirus. Children younger than five years old, the elderly, and those people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe infections. Food contaminated with norovirus may look, smell, or taste normal. To avoid food poisoning from oysters, cook them well to a temperature of at least 145 degrees F.
Do not serve or sell raw oysters harvested between 11/17/2022 and 12/7/2022 from harvest area TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas:
- Restaurants and food retailers should not serve raw oysters from harvest area TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas, harvested between 11/17/2022 and 12/7/2022, which will be printed on product tags.
- The FDA has confirmed that raw oysters harvested in area TX 1, Galveston Bay, Texas were potentially contaminated with norovirus and distributed to restaurants and retailers in Alabama (AL), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Louisiana (LA), Mississippi (MS) North Carolina (NC), Tennessee (TN) and Texas (TX). It is possible that additional states received these oysters through further distribution within the U.S.
Throw away any remaining oysters or return them to your distributor for destruction.
These oysters may be contaminated with norovirus. Follow these steps:
- Wash and sanitize containers and surfaces that may have come into contact with these oysters.
- Wash hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitation process.
Do not eat any raw oysters from the areas listed above. If you have oysters at home from any of the areas listed above, throw them away. Clean any utensils or food preparation surfaces that may have touched the oysters.
If you think you might have gotten sick from eating possibly contaminated raw oysters, talk to your healthcare provider and report your illness to your local health department.