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New Study Cracks Open Infectious Bugs In Oysters

Bad news for fans of raw oysters in the UK -- three-quarters of oysters were found to contain norovirus, a potentially nasty vomit-inducing bug.


Photo: Bu (flickr)

Oysters are vulnerable because they filter water to get their food. As a result, bacteria can build up over time.

Bad news at the raw bar — a new study found three-fourths of oysters in UK growing beds contain norovirus.

Infectious norovirus is known to cause diarrhea and vomiting, although the Food Standards Agency, who conducted the study, said they weren’t able to determine the difference between the infectious and non-infectious norovirus in the oysters.

There is no “safe limit” on norovirus, so any — or none — could potentially be harmful.

800 oysters from 39 beds were tested over two years to come up with the startling figure.

Although the findings do little to help immediate impacts on live shellfish, the head scientist at the FSA Andrew Wadge hopes the data will lessen the instance of norovirus in oysters in the future.

Read More:

  • New research identifies norovirus in oysters (FSA Press Release)
  • Three-Quarters Of UK Oysters Contain Vomiting Virus, Study Says (My Fox NY)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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