Richmond seafood company issues recall for oysters due to potential norovirus

A Richmond-based seafood company is recalling oysters due to possible norovirus, the second B.C. company to do so in the past week.  

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced Thursday that Union Bay Seafood, near No. 5 Road and Vulcan Way in north Richmond, is recalling its brand of Pacific Oysters due to potential norovirus.

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The company is recalling the oysters that were sold in B.C., Alberta and Manitoba. CFIA states they may have also been distributed nationally.

The recall was triggered following an investigation by CFIA into reports of a foodborne illness outbreak, according to the federal agency.

Union Bay Seafood is the second B.C. company this week to issue a recall for oysters.  

On Feb. 22, Sawmill Bay Shellfish Co. recalled its brand of Pacific Aquacultured Oysters, again due to concerns over norovirus following a CFIA investigation.

There have been reported illnesses associated with consuming both Union Bay and Sawmill Bay’s now-recalled oysters.

The affected Union Bay Seafood products — oysters sold in 5 dozens — include the following:

  • Pacific Oysters, Chef Creek Xsm, code “Harvest location: BC 14-8 Landfile: 1402060 Lot: W20200211 Harvest date: 10 Feb. 2020
  • Pacific Oysters, Cascadia Xsm, code “Harvest location: BC 14-8 Landfile: 1402060 Lot: W20200211 Harvest date: 10 Feb. 2020
  • Pacific Oysters, Royal Miyagi Xsm, code “Harvest location: BC 14-8 Landfile: 1402060 Lot: W20200211 Harvest date: 10 Feb. 2020

The affected Sawmill Bay Shellfish Co. products are sold only to businesses, according to CFIA. The recalled products include:

  • Pacific Aquacultured Oysters, sold by the dozen, lot codes 453 and 454. These are sold only to hotels, restaurants and institutions.
  • Pacific Aquacultured Oysters, sold by variable count, no codes, all units sold from Feb. 12 to Feb. 19, inclusive. These are sold at Codfather’s Seafood Market in Kelowna.

Anyone who has the recalled products in their home or business should throw them out or return them to the location where they were purchased.

People who contract norovirus usually develop symptoms of gastroenteritis within 24 to 48 hours, but these can appear as early as 12 hours after exposure.

The main symptoms of norovirus include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps. Other symptoms can include a low-grade fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and fatigue.

Norovirus illness often begins suddenly, according to CFIA, and even if someone has had the illness, they can still become re-infected.  

Most people feel better within one or two days, and don’t experience any long-term health effects.

For more information about norovirus, visit Health Canada’s website.

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