Raw Oyster Warning Expanded Across SoCal After Dozens Sickened

LOS ANGELES, CA — A health warning about consuming oysters possibly linked to norovirus outbreaks in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties has expanded across Southern California this week as federal regulators trace the source of the contamination.

Dozens of people have fallen ill in recent days after eating raw oysters served in Southland restaurants, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which warned against consuming some oysters harvested in Sonora Mexico in late December. The oysters were served at Los Angeles and San Diego County restaurants and sold by wholesalers to restaurants in Orange County, according to the FDA and the Orange County Healthcare Agency.

The oysters were purchased from Sociedad Acuicola GolPac, according to the FDA, and the wholesalers distributed to restaurants from San Diego to Los Angeles as “Rocky Point oysters.”

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The illnesses were first reported in San Diego County where 41 people fell ill after consuming raw oysters. Soon after, health officials in Los Angeles identified another 27 gastrointestinal illnesses linked to four unnamed restaurants.

“These specific oysters have only been available through restaurants and wholesale locations including some restaurants located in Orange County,” the county’s healthcare agency warned on Tuesday while urging restaurants to set aside the oysters until further notice.

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Restaurants or others who purchased the oysters are asked to not use them while an investigation of this outbreak takes place, the Orange County Health Care Agency urged, recommending, “that anyone ordering raw oysters in a restaurant inquire and verify where the product originated, before consuming.”

In Los Angeles County, health officials also warned against consuming oysters until the outbreak is contained.


“Until the source is confirmed, consumers should be cautious before eating raw oysters due to the potential risk of foodborne illness,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “If you are sick, avoid spreading illness by washing your hands frequently and cleaning frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and kitchen countertops.”

Those most vulnerable to potential gastrointestinal illness from consuming raw oysters include young children, older adults, and people who are immunocompromised.

Anyone who believes they became sick from eating or drinking something, is urged to file a report with county health officials.

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