If You're Scared of Oysters, Maybe Blame Big Oil

by Katherine Spiers

One of my most “will die on this hill” beliefs is that most people are incorrect about where they got food poisoning. I’ve even written about it. So of course the last time I got food poisoning I was hoist by my own petard and knew exactly when and where it occurred: eating oysters at my beloved neighborhood bistro. (The friend I was with also got sick.) (A few months later I had blood work done and my liver markers looked awful and my doctor thought I was dying, but then I remembered about the bad oysters. Doc was so relieved she laughed. Just a li’l hep A to keep things spicy.)

So, even though I have a professional interest in oysters (more on that in future editions), I am not eating them at the moment. Which, it turns out, is perfectly fine, because at least 150 people in Los Angeles have gotten sick from them in the last month – outbreaks are relatively easy to source once they get big enough.

That seems high, but over the last few decades oysters have been taking people out sort of regularly. Four people died from eating them in L.A. in May and June 1996. In November of 1982 in Louisiana, a confirmed 472 people got sick from oysters. Fifty people in Texas in December 2022. Singapore, December 2003 and January 2004: at least 305 cases.

(Before I continue, let me say that I’m not trying to scare you away from oysters. The deadliest traced food poisoning outbreaks of the last 40 years have come from deli meat, fenugreek sprouts, cheese, and cantaloupe. Life is about crossing your fingers and diving in.)

 Read the article here:

If You’re Scared of Oysters, Maybe Blame Big Oil

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