Investigation after ‘at least 100’ suffer vomiting and diarrhoea linked to Whitstable oysters

Health officials investigate batches from popular Whistable Oyster Company

Ella Glover
Friday 09 July 2021 02:14
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<p>An investigation has been launched and an Oyster farm closed due to at least 100 cases of people falling il</p>

An investigation has been launched and an Oyster farm closed due to at least 100 cases of people falling il

An investigation has been launched after “a number” of diners eating oysters from Whitstable on the north Kent coast fell ill with vomiting and diarrhoea.

Health officials did not say how many people were affected but Kent Online reported that it was at least 100.

Canterbury City Council, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Public Health England (PHE) are jointly investigating batches of molluscs from the Whistable Oyster Company.

The batches of oysters causing the illness have “been identified” and testing is ongoing, a spokesperson for Canterbury City Council said.

“The oyster harvesting business linked to the outbreak ceased harvesting, no further oysters have been distributed since illnesses have occurred, and oysters distributed before they were aware of the illnesses have been withdrawn from the market,” the spokesman said.

“There is no known further risk to consumers.”

The Whistable Oyster Company toldKentOnline: “We have stopped harvesting oysters as there have been some cases of sickness related to our oysters over the past week.

“We have had the allegedly affected batches checked and they are completely clear of norovirus and also within the acceptable range set by CEFAS for e-coli.

“We are currently waiting to be informed when we can resume harvesting, which will be hopefully soon.

“Our safety and testing systems are second to none and we look forward to restarting the supply of our world-famous oysters.”

Global distribution of the company’s oysters was also suspended.

Advice from Canterbury City Council, the FSA and PHE promotes “good hand hygiene,” and maintaining “food preparation practices.”

Anyone who has vomiting or diarrhoea symptoms and is concerned about their health should phone NHS 111 or their GP for advice.

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