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Recalls & Safety Alerts

Raw Oysters from Korea May Present Norovirus Risk

— May 23, 2024

Officials warn that imported seafood my cause serious health problems.

When purchasing food from a known and trusted supplier, most people take for granted that the food will be safe. Most of the time, of course, it is, and there has never been a better time in history for people to have access to food that is nutritious and safe. That safety is not always assured, however, and sometimes it’s necessary for warnings to go out to prevent any more people from becoming ill from a potentially tainted supply. In the state of California, a concerning string of norovirus cases has been reported after consumption of seafood imported from Korea, and as a result, a warning has been sent out from the state to hopefully protect consumers at large from running into health troubles.

Raw oysters that had been imported from South Korea are at the heart of the concerning developments in this case. JBR Inc., a company in South Korea, imported the product, but there is now a concern that it is linked directly to a breakout of norovirus in San Diego County. Specifically, across a period of time in March and April, there were 33 cases of norovirus that could be linked back to the oysters. Anyone already in possession of raw oysters from Korea should know that the “KR 15 SP” identifier is connected to the case, and the label “Amazing Sea Brand” is involved.

Norovirus can take a serious toll on those who are impacted. There are a variety of symptoms that one is likely to experience, including vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. For some, it will be a matter of dealing with the symptoms for a period of time before they gradually improve. For others, especially those with underlying health conditions, medical attention will be required. Not only does norovirus take a heavy toll from a health perspective, but it is also highly contagious, making it difficult to track and contain.

Raw Oysters from Korea May Present Norovirus Risk
Photo by sl wong from Pexels

As a result of the link between these oysters and norovirus, a couple of companies have volunteered to recall lots of the product that may be harmful to customers. Those companies are S.J. Distributors LLC and Great Wall Seafood LA LLC. Any restaurants that have oysters on hand that might be contaminated have been asked to discard the product out of caution and to help prevent a wider outbreak of norovirus in the Southern California area.

To some extent, when purchasing a food like raw oysters, the consumer will know that there is at least some risk of illness, due to the nature of that product. However, when so many people become sick within such a short period of time, it points to more than the normal risk of illness that comes with some foods. In this case, it’s been a norovirus issue that may stem from the consumption of the oysters, so it’s important that everyone is warned and that as much of the product is pulled off of the market as possible.


California health officials issue warning about raw oysters from Korea over norovirus

FSA assesses risk of norovirus from oysters

CDC: Norovirus Outbreaks

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