Sawmill Bay Shellfish recalls multiple brands of oysters over norovirus concerns

Sawmill Bay Shellfish Co. Ltd. is recalling certain Pacific Oysters under the brand names Joes Gold, Joyce Point, Read Island Gem and Sawmill Bay DD because of possible norovirus contamination.

This recall was triggered by findings by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency during its investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, as of April 8, 2022, there have been 328 cases of norovirus and gastrointestinal illness linked to consumption of British Columbia oysters reported in the following provinces: British Columbia (293), Alberta (3), Saskatchewan (1), Manitoba (15) and Ontario (16).

More than 100 people in the United States have also been infected across 13 states. Previously recalled oysters have been distributed in at least 13 states.

These particular recalled products have been sold in British Columbia and Alberta and may have been distributed in other provinces and territories.

Recalled products:

Consumers, retailers, and restaurant owners should check to see if they have the recalled products in their homes or establishments. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the location where they were purchased.

Recent oyster recalls

About norovirus infections
People with norovirus illness usually develop symptoms of gastroenteritis within 24 to 48 hours, but symptoms can start as early as 12 hours after exposure. The virus can live on surfaces for long periods of time and survives freezing temperatures. It is highly contagious.

The illness often begins suddenly. Even after having the illness, you can still become reinfected by norovirus. The main symptoms of norovirus illness are diarrhea, vomiting (children usually experience more vomiting than adults), nausea, and stomach cramps.

Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, and fatigue (a general sense of tiredness). Most people feel better within one or two days, with symptoms resolving on their own, and experience no long-term health effects.

As with any illness-causing diarrhea or vomiting, people who are ill should drink plenty of liquids to replace lost body fluids and prevent dehydration. In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized and given fluids intravenously.

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