Following numerous cases of poisoning, oysters from the Arcachon basin were declared prohibited for sale. What infectious agent is involved? And what precautions should be taken when dealing with these shells? Answers.
The news broke a few days before New Year’s Eve. After “several cases of collective food poisoning“, the prefecture of Gironde has (finally?) decided to ban oysters from the Arcachon Bay. Update on the situation.
The sale of oysters is prohibited until further notice
If no serious case of poisoning “is to be deplored to this day“said the prefecture in a press release, the symptoms described by patients who consumed these contaminated oysters remain unpleasant to say the least.
Indeed, they closely resemble those “acute gastroenteritis“, either diarrhea and/or vomiting accompanied or not by nausea, abdominal pain and sometimes fever.
As for the infectious agent responsible for these massive toxic infections, there is no doubt about it:
“Traceability investigations are underway but several reports indicate that oysters from the Arcachon Bay are involved.details the prefecture.
The authorities also confirm the presence of “norovirus“in shellfish, a category of infectious agent which causes, precisely, acute gastroenteritis in humans (all age groups combined).
Consumers must return oysters to the point of sale
Faced with this health scourge, the prefecture has decided to temporarily ban fishing, harvesting and marketing activities for all shellfish from the Arcachon Basin, including the Banc d’Arguin.
“As of today, batches of shellfish harvested or fished in these areas must be withdrawn from sale. People who have shellfish from these areas are asked not to consume them and to return them to the point of sale.“, details the prefectural press release. “Recreational shellfish fishing is also prohibited.“.
A decree, which does not delight the oyster farmers, but which will be lifted”as soon as the health quality of the shellfish becomes fully satisfactory again“, concludes the press release.