It’s finally summer! And while a blog about state government might not be the first place you’d check for culinary tips, we have some news from the Department of Health you might want to read before whipping up a mignonette: Avoid raw oysters or risk illness.
Yes, it looks delicious. But a total of 22 vibriosis illnesses have been linked to commercial and recreational raw oysters in Washington recently. Vibriosis sets in anywhere from 12 hours to a day after you eat the infected oysters and can cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, headache, vomiting, fever, and chills for up to a week. For those with compromised immune systems, it can be life threatening.
· Put oysters on ice or refrigerate them as soon as possible after harvest.
· If a receding tide has exposed oysters for a long time, don’t harvest them.
· Always cook oysters thoroughly. Cooking oysters at 145° F for 15 seconds destroys vibrio bacteria. Rinsing fully-cooked oysters with seawater can recontaminate them.
Here’s to a healthy, vibriosis-free weekend!