Frozen oysters cause illness in state

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat certain "ASSI Brand" of frozen oysters from Korea following an outbreak of illness in Washington state caused by norovirus.

The frozen oyster meat, packaged as shucked and not in the shell, is packed in 3-pound bags. Each bag is labeled "ASSI Brand "INDIVIDUALLY QUICK FROZEN OYSTER" with a "Better if Used By" date of "2013.02.232."

Each bag identifies Central Fisheries Co. Ltd., as the packer and Korean Farms of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., as the distributor.

Korean Farms has voluntarily agreed to recall these oysters.

The individual bags are shipped in boxes of 10 bags each with the lot number C-110223, appearing on each shipping carton, along with a "SHUCKED DATE: 2011.02.24. These oysters, which were served in a Washington state restaurant and were eaten by three people who became ill, have been sampled and tested positive by FDA for norovirus, officials said.

There have been no reports of hospitalizations or deaths resulting from consuming the frozen oysters. Records indicate this product was shipped to several other states, including the Idaho.

Consumers who have recently purchased oysters should not eat them and should safely dispose of them in the trash or garbage disposal.

Norovirus causes acute inflammation of the stomach and intestines. The most common symptoms are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. The illness often begins suddenly and norovirus can make people feel extremely ill with frequent vomiting and diarrhea. Most people get better within one to two days. Dehydration can be a problem among some people with norovirus infection, especially the very young, the elderly and people with other illnesses. The FDA is advising people who get ill within several days after consuming the Korean frozen oysters to seek medical attention.

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