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Oysters from Coffin Bay recalled after 56 Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections

Oysters from Coffin Bay have been recalled by South Australian health authorities after three people were hospitalised and dozens more infected with a bacterium.

A health warning was first issued last week but now a full recall has been ordered after confirmation of Vibrio parahaemolyticus from the oysters.

SA Health deputy chief public health officer Chris Lease said there had been 56 Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections linked to eating raw oysters since September, with three people hospitalised.

“This recall is an additional safety measure on top of the precautionary closure of the Coffin Bay Growing Area recently imposed by the Department of Primary Industries and Regions,” Dr Lease said in a statement on Friday.

“We have been monitoring the number of cases closely since September and can now confirm the presence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in oysters from Coffin Bay.”

Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection causes symptoms of gastro such as diarrhoea, cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever and a headache.

The symptoms usually occur within 24 hours of eating the contaminated food.

“We are encouraging people to either throw away any Coffin Bay oysters or return them to their place of purchase,” Dr Lease said.

“Food-borne illnesses can be quite serious for more vulnerable people in our community, such as older South Australians, pregnant people and people with compromised immune systems.”

Food Standards Australia and New Zealand has also issued a recall.

“The oysters have been available for sale direct from farms, seafood outlets, grocery stores and supermarkets in SA, NSW, ACT, Queensland, Victoria, NT and WA,” FSANZ said.

“Consumers are advised not to eat raw Pacific oysters from Coffin Bay, including fresh and frozen products.

“Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice.

“Consumers should dispose of the oysters or return the oysters to the place of purchase for a full refund.”

Production dates are from September 4 to November 16.

There were no cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infections last year and eight cases in 2019.

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