SPRINGFIELD, Ill (KMOX)  – The Illinois Department of Public Health is encouraging the public to throw out any oysters, clams, mussels or scallops from Korea that you have in your refrigerator or freezer.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found significant problems including:

  • ineffective management of land-based pollution sources that can impact shellfish growing areas;
  • inadequate sanitary controls to prevent the discharge of human fecal waste from fish farms and commercial fishing and aquaculture vessels operating in and adjacent to shellfish growing areas; and
  • detection of norovirus in shellfish growing areas analyzed by FDA during the evaluation.

Because of inadequate sanitation controls, the molluscan shellfish harvested from Korean waters may have been exposed to human fecal waste and have the potential to be contaminated with norovirus.  Importation of molluscan shellfish harvested from polluted waters in Korea was stopped May 1.

Korean molluscan shellfish that entered the United States prior to May 1 and any product made with Korean molluscan shellfish are considered adulterated.  The FDA recommends that food distributors, retailers, and food service operators get rid of all fresh, frozen, and processed Korean molluscan shellfish and any product subsequently made with them.  The FDA is currently working to determine the distribution of the product.

No U.S. illnesses from the consumption of Korean shellfish have been reported in 2012.


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