Seattle-King County releases list of raw oyster illnesses for 2021

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Seattle & King County Public Health is out with an updated list of illnesses associated with the consumption of raw oysters for 2021 at kingcounty.gov/oysters. The list will continue to be updated periodically as new reports of raw oyster-related illnesses develop.

Public Health notes that there were no oyster-related outbreaks and very few other foodborne outbreaks in 2020, likely because of temporary restaurant closures and social distancing during the pandemic, so there is no data to display for that year.

In general,  according to Public Health,  raw oysters are most likely to be contaminated in the water before harvesting. Regardless,  Environmental Health Investigators conduct onsite visits for each report of illness associated with raw oyster consumption. This helps control risk factors that may be present that could contribute to the spread of norovirus or Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Risk factors for each illness vary, but may include: oysters from unapproved sources, improper refrigeration of oysters (temperatures must be at or below 41 degrees F), handling of raw foods in such a way to minimize the risk of cross-contamination, ill food workers, and/or improper handwashing practices.

Public Health routinely reports the illnesses to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Shellfish Program, which is responsible for tracking the harvest locations of the oysters implicated in these illnesses. Multiple illnesses tracked to a common growing area may result in the closure of implicated harvest locations or other enforcement actions. For more information, see the DOH Shellfish Program website.

2021 Illnesses Associated with Raw Oysters

Restaurant/Venue/vendor Meal date Number ill Suspected organism
The Crabpot^
1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle
6/28/2021 1 Vibrio
Crawfish King^
701 8th Ave S, Seattle
7/2/2021 1 Vibrio
The Crab Pot^
1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle
7/2/2021 1 Vibrio
Damn the Weather^
116 1st Ave S, Seattle
7/3/2021 1 Vibrio
Salty’s on Alki^
1936 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle
7/4/2021 1 Vibrio
Taylor Shellfish^
1521 Melrose Ave, Seattle
7/5/2021 1 Vibrio
Emmett Watson’s Oyster Bar^
1916 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101
7/5/2021 1 Vibrio
Walrus and Carpenter^
4743 Ballard Ave NW #1b, Seattle
7/5/2021 1 Vibrio
The Crab Pot^
1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle
7/7/2021 2 Vibrio
White Swan Public House
1001 Fairview Ave N, Seattle
7/17/2021 2 Vibrio

* Disclosures posted previously online at: www.kingcounty.gov/outbreak
^ Includes at least one ill person with laboratory-confirmed Vibrio parahaemolyticus

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