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Oyster farms in British Columbia closed due after norovirus outbreak

seafoodsource.com by Christine Blank, April 12, 2018

Oyster farms between Denman Island and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, have been closed after an outbreak of norovirus.

Around 40 people have reported acute gastrointestinal illness after eating raw oysters grown in the province, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Some of the cases were attributed to norovirus, Food Safety News reported.

“On the advice of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has issued precautionary closures of two B.C. shellfish aquaculture facilities,” Michelle Imbeau, communications advisor for DFO, told SeafoodSource. 

“The closures of the shellfish facilities are temporary and will be rescinded when results from CFIA [Canadian Food Inspection Agency] and Health Canada indicate there is no further risk of human illness,” Imbeau said.

DFO ordered a harvest prohibition for oysters from BC Aquaculture Tenure Land File #1411206, in Subarea 14-8, a portion of Deep Bay, Baynes Sound, as well as BC Aquaculture Tenure Land File #1402060, in Subarea 14-8, on the West coast of Denman Island, Baynes Sound.

DFO continues to meet with health authorities and will take direction from CFIA on any further potential closures of B.C. shellfish aquaculture facilities, according to Imbeau.