VCH’s Public Health staff are asking restaurants in our region to temporarily cook oysters harvested in B.C. before serving. Only oysters harvested outside of the province may be served raw right now.
31 people have been sick from eating raw B.C. oysters so far. But many more people have likely gotten sick since most people don’t report their foodborne illness. Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a naturally occurring bacterium in coastal waters that can cause human illness. The bacterium thrive in warmer waters, and reports of illness generally increase in the summer months.
Symptoms include the following and can last up to a week:
- watery diarrhea
If you do want to eat B.C. oysters, be sure to cook them. If you have a hankering for raw oysters, choose oysters harvested outside of B.C.